Lord Percy and the Green Climateers

Skint and owing £1000, Lord Blackadder faces the wrath of the perverted Bishop of Bath and Wells and the fate of being buggered by a red-hot poker. Valiantly trying to save him by making gold, his incredibly dim-witted friend Lord Percy instead makes ‘pure green’. Not gold! Blackadder points out.

Think of Percy’s quest as a metaphor for the quest of today’s climate activists. Instead of gold, they’re after carbonless energy. Alchemy rethought through a climate prism. And, to boot, with a religiously-convicted single mindedness. Pure "green."

Consider the attitude of those working for the myriad of agencies in each western country dedicated to completely greening the production and consumption of energy. I’m not a mind reader, but in Australia I can’t spot doubt. Just group-think. No evidence of robust internal debate. None escapes into public view in any event. Presumably no one is hired who doesn’t fit the mould.

Catastropharians all -- skeptics shunned -- they’ve fixed on their fanciful quest without at all questioning its feasibility. Percy’s problem. Fortunately, Blackadder found another way. If sense is not soon restored, we might be stuck with pure green and, figuratively speaking, with Blackadder’s blazing nemesis.

One way to appreciate the infeasibility of decarbonisation is to lay bare the fantastical plans for its achievement; by whichever climate agency, in whichever country. Incidentally, this is not necessarily straightforward. Common to all plans are grand visions and longwinded bafflegab. Thus, I was unsurprised to learn of the length of New York’s Draft Scoping Plan to radically reduce emissions. All 330 pages plus appendices were released on December 20.

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Everything’s bigger in New York. So, Australia’s reports tend to be shorter but remain competitive in the visions and bafflegab stakes. Which brings me to Australia’s equivalent of the DSP, the Integrated System Plan (ISP) to transform the production and consumption of energy. This plan, released also in December, was issued by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO); the agency responsible for keeping the lights on.

The ISP is just ninety-nine pages long. Even so, I admit to not reading it all. Too little fortitude. However, the eight-page executive summary suffices to reveal its innards. Net-zero by 2050 is the goal of course but, to ease concern, we are told that power will remain “affordable, reliable and secure.” Take it to the bank. Every pie-in-the-sky plan to do away with fossil fuels contains the same placating, empty assurance.

The plan calls for ‘delivered electricity’ to nearly double by 2050; from 180 terawatt hours (TWh), to 330 TWh. Bear in mind, we are told, this electricity is needed “to replace much of the gas and petrol currently consumed in transport, industry, office and domestic use.” And this, seriously folks, without coal and natural gas which presently account for about 75 percent of electricity generation.

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To stretch credulity even more, the forecast in the plan of how much electricity will be required by 2050 looks way too low. The economy will at least double in size over the next 28 years, under conservative assumptions about immigration and per-capita economic growth. But hold on. I'm assuming, naively perhaps, that people in 2050 are still enjoying unrationed heating and cooling, red meat, freedom of personal travel, and other dissolute pleasures.

And from unreality to beyond, the plan contemplates, without quantification, the need for even more additional electricity power to make hydrogen. Readers are referred to another AEMO report called 'Hydrogen Superpower'. Yep, Australia along with many other countries, intends to be a superpower in producing and exporting green hydrogen. Why the additional electricity? Well, to make green hydrogen, lots of electricity is lost in translation. How is all this extra electricity to be generated?

Note, excluding the hydrogen bit, by “a nine-fold increase in utility scale variable renewable capacity.” Meaning in common parlance, nine times the current number/size of wind and solar farms. Where will they be built?

Much of this resource will be built in renewable energy zones (REZs) that coordinate network and renewable investment, and foster a more holistic approach to regional employment, economic opportunity and community participation.

Blue-collar workers and their families can relax. Look forward to holistic experiences. Starry-eyed boys and girls with university degrees have the conn.

Also required, we’re told, is “a five-fold increase in distributed photovoltaics capacity [and] substantial growth in distributed storage.” To again interpret, this means many more solar panels on roofs, complemented with household battery storage. Are there enough bribable and/or willing roof owners?

I presume this hypothesised blanketing of land with turbines and solar panels has been fed into a computer model. Hence, I’ll gullibly take it as given that on a good day all of this wind and solar infrastructure, in the extremely improbable event it is ever built, together with existing hydro, would do the job. But then there’s night, and stormy days and nights, and windless days and nights.

According to the plan, three times the current amount of standby power, equal to 620GWh, will be required to underpin the system. Or to put it into plan-speak: “significant investment is required… to treble the firming capacity that can respond to a dispatch signal.”

Again, I have no informed view about the numbers being spat out. But just suppose the envisaged standby power is not enough. Modelling has been wrong before, I vaguely recall; and wind capricious. Result blackouts? Am I being vexatiously querulous?

And a little child shall lead them.

Apropos the wind- and sun-dependent state of South Australia over the Christmas to New Year week. Renewable energy hit a peak of 130 percent of demand, a trough of just 4 percent and everything in-between. Not unusual. Is that any basis for delivering dispatchable power, adults might once have asked? Ah, the old days, when common sense had a look in.

Where is the so-called firming to be sourced? Gas is in the mix but, as the plan says, “over time, its emissions will need to be offset, or natural gas will need to be replaced by net-zero carbon fuels such as green hydrogen or biogas.” These zealots are not for compromising.

What else is in the mix? Predominantly batteries and pumped hydro. Good luck in getting dams built to supply additional pumped hydro. Environmentalists detest new dams as much they detest coal and human fecundity. Finally, demand responses are brought into play to help manage peak loads. A euphemism for rationing supply.

Shambles ahead, from Sydney to New York. Indelicately speaking, I foresee the Bishop of Bath and Wells, poker in hand, ready to collect a debt.

Covid, 'Climate Change,' and the Theory of Everything

Since classical physics seemingly clashed with quantum mechanics, scientists have tried to find an overarching theory. Searching for the Theory of Everything is the catchiest way to describe the grand quest. My quest is more base than grand, being steeped in political calculation. Yet it has a commonality of sorts with the theory of everything. I’m after a common factor which explains the loss of public support for three political leaders. Each quite different from one another.

My three subjects are Joe Biden, Boris Johnson, and Scott Morrison. According to the polls, support for each of them has plummeted since they were elected. If elections were held today each of them and their respective parties would be routed.

On the political spectrum, Biden has gone from (supposedly) moderately left to green-new-deal junkie. Johnson has gone from an irreverent, freedom-loving Brexit hero to a tax-raising, Covid-panicking, climate zealot. Morrison, true to expedient form, has embraced net-zero to appease wets among his colleagues, to assuage corporate carpetbaggers and, so I understand, to please Scandinavians.

Nobel Peace Prize here we come.

In the past, the issues of the day were more bread and butter than they are now. Generally, the state of the economy determined whether a government was returned or kicked out. "It’s the economy stupid," used to be the theory of everything.

Clearly, inflation is affecting the popularity of Biden. A touch of the past there. But that certainly isn’t playing out in the U.K. or in Australia to nearly the same extent. Nor does the dreaded Wuhan virus tip the balance either way in my view.

My impression is that those seeking safety, and astonishingly they are in their legions, are happy enough with their government. That’s because all three leaders have reacted with feckless paranoia at the least sign of sickness. Moreover, those hardy folk who are prepared to take a risk or two for freedom’s sake have largely been battered into submission by media and government propaganda machines. Being constantly told that your freedom poses a deadly risk to the vulnerable is unnerving.  Who wants to be accused of recklessly killing grannies and grandpas? No one. Game, set and re-election.

Biden has a border problem, as does Johnson to a lesser extent. This undoubtedly affects their popularity. But among which voters? That’s key, as I’ll come to.

Australia has the advantage of being an island continent. It’s easier to keep so-called asylum seekers out. Boats have to travel a fair way. Still, you have to be prepared to turn them back. Under Tony Abbott, prime minister from 2013-2015, they were turned back. If they scuttled their boats, hoping to be rescued and brought ashore, they were provided with life boats and pointed seaward.

As foretold by prophecy.

Of course, the usual suspects were outraged. However, no political party, except the delusional Greens, has ever risked going to an election promising to overturn the policy of turning back boats. They would like to. But they sniff the votes. The votes they’re sniffing are not those of the inner cities, the professional and corporate types, the public servants, the educators. They’re all now overwhelmingly left-cum-green voters. The votes at risk are in blue-collar outer suburbia, and in regional and rural towns.

John Howard, Australia’s prime minister from 1996 to 2007, won repeatedly by attracting the “Howard battlers.” Voters who in days past would have voted for the Labor Party. This section of the voting block also brought Boris Johnson his victory in 2019, as the so-called “red wall” of Labour constituencies in the Midlands, Northern England and in parts of Wales fell to the Tories. This story applies in similar measure to Donald Trump’s victory in 2016 and also to Scott Morrison’s come-from-behind win in 2019.

It’s not so much the issue as the constituency. Trump appealed to America first; in other words, to old-fashioned patriotism. A lot followed from that. Defending the southern border; protecting American industry from predatory international competition and from onerous regulations; and withdrawing from draining foreign military engagements.

Johnson also keyed into patriotism. Brexit was won on patriotism not on financial calculations. Who's patriotic anymore? You’d mostly search in vain in white-collar inner-suburbia. Patriotism lives among blue-collar workers and in regional and rural communities.

It wasn’t patriotism per se that Morrison tapped into in 2019 but it was related and the constituency was the same. Climate-change apocalypticism threatened the coal industry in Northern New South Wales and Queensland and, with it, the livelihoods and way of life of surrounding communities. The common factor in the victories of Morrison and Johnson and Trump before them was their appeal to the national interest. Their thinking was spot on.

Learn to code, bro.

From spot on to derangement.  Climate-change apocalypticism has finally had its way. Nobody illustrated that better than Biden in New Hampshire at the end of 2019:

Anybody who can go down 300 to 3,000 feet in a mine can sure as hell learn to program as well...Give me a break! Anybody who can throw coal into a furnace can learn how to program, for god's sake!

Of course, the extent of Biden’s derangement is a special case. Nonetheless, the common factor in the falling popularity of all three leaders is their embrace of globalism in the place of the national interest. And, hence, their willingness to sacrifice the well-being of multitudes of their citizens in a quixotic quest to cool the planet. Maniacal, inexplicable, but true.

Maybe Biden didn’t really have much of a choice with AOC and Bernie Sanders snapping at his throat. Not so with Johnson and Morrison. Though I suppose, in part excuse, Johnson has his leftist wife, Prince Charles, and David Attenborough to deal with. I can’t find much of an excuse for Morrison.

Enemy of the People: Scott Morrison.

Last time he did a Trump and put Australia first. There was a big contrast between his Party’s climate policy and the opposition Labor Party’s. Now they are both aiming for net-zero; bizarrely dependent on unknown future technologies. In the meantime, onward with wind and solar boondoggles; and to blazes with Australia’s fossil fuel industries and the communities which live off them. There will be a comeuppance. As the votes of such communities drift away to conservative-minded independents, Morrison can forget about winning.

By and large, most Republicans understand today’s political landscape, I think. Johnson and Morrison seemingly don’t. Johnson has more time to change course. He won’t. His party needs to change him. Morrison, having swallowed the poisonous climate bait will likely meet his doleful fate. Dispatched to the opposition benches in the forthcoming May election.

Gone Green with the Wind

There are few things more beloved of "conservationists" than the environmental devastation caused by wind farms. In Australia, a 2019 project atop Mt. Emerald in Northern Queensland, at first greeted as a great leap forward for "green energy," is now causing major concern. What had once been pristine wilderness, noted environmentalist Steve Nowakowski with dismay, "is now basically a quarry site. That landscape will never come back."

Apparently, he had no idea that many other wind farms were under construction or planned for the same geographical area; some on tracts of unspoilt country. That really gets under the skin of your average environmentalist of yesteryear. “It’s really out of control… and no one knows about it," he said.

That's the price of progress, apparently. Michael Moore’s 2019 documentary movie Planet of the Humans captures the dilemma. Unsightly, costly, acreage demanding, bird-killing, child-labor-using and, to boot, unreliable thus needing nasty fossil-fuel backup. What true greenie would like them? Anyway, it's far fewer humans that they really want, not more energy, whatever the source.

There are no offshore windfarms yet in Australia. One advanced proposal is to build one in the Bass Strait, off the coast of Gippsland in South East Australia. The problem? Birds. One fisherman not only pointed to the danger to migratory birds but also to the effect on fishing. Birds are such good fishermen, he said, “we watch them, and we know where the fish are.” There you go, process it as you will.

But wherever you figuratively fish, on land or sea, from Evia in Greece, where they will “ruin acres of ancient forests;” across the Atlantic to the U.S., where Robert Bryce writing in Forbes in September claimed that 317 wind projects had been cancelled due to environmental concerns; and onwards across the Pacific to Australia, environmentalism has a schism.

Look out above.

Expect the list of rejected wind farms to grow. For example, in recent times, a Southern Tablelands farm in New South Wales was rejected because of its “visual impact on residents.” And one in central Queensland because of its “potential impact on threatened native animal species, including the koala.”

“The faux environmentalist is easy to spot: he loves industrial wind power and couldn’t care less about the environmental destruction it causes,” said one environmentalist. Internecine struggles are afoot. Such struggles, like civil wars, are usually ugly

You wonder what those supporting renewable energy think will happen to pristine land and coastal waters. In 2019 wind accounted for 2.2 percent of the world's primary energy consumption. And if it gets to only a modest 22 percent, where exactly do they think these tens upon tens of thousands of square miles of wind farms are going to go?  Thankfully, not before time, the opposition's growing.

The Shape of Things to Come

Our rulers have recently completed another greendoggle on foreign shores, flying in on their private jets to congratulate one another on their plans to deprive us of liberty and property; life, too, if they’re all up for it. How much easier it would be for them if we all just died.

The primary job of any politician is communication. Communications nowadays are instantaneous and global. No reason exists for this gathering to disgorge thousand of metric tons of GHG to gather to communicate about excess GHG. If our entire $20 trillion economy can work from home and on video-calls for well over a year, these few penny-ante taxpayer-and-corruption-funded millionaires can, too.

If they must get together, if drinking maskless and telling happy lies and sitting around watching the same old PowerPoint presentations they heard last year and the year before (which can be emailed to them) are critical to their well-being, well – again, as comms are global (and if they absolutely refuse to videoconference) they can take the train, or a ship and then a train, all of which emit less GHG per passenger than Gulfstreams and Lears and Cessnas and 85-car motorcades. The longer they are in-transit, the less harm they are to the productive middle classes. If they want to extend these ridiculous and childish meets to 24 x 7 x 365, who are we to complain? As long as they are out of our hair and pocketbooks.

Look who's here.

If Congress wanted to pass a useful bill and work seriously on revitalizing friendships with our European “allies,” and do the world a favor, they could strip the citizenship from Uncle Joe while he’s gone, sell Air Force-1 to the French in exchange for screwing them on the Aussie sub deal, and purchase an abandoned castle somewhere in the U.K. for President Brandon to live out his daze.

But – they seem to think they know best, so let’s take a brief look at some of the scare stories in the media being drummed-up by our betters, and the reality behind them. After all, if we’re going to have our liberty and property taken-away extra-judicially, it’s a good idea to understand the problems causing our unprecedented loss of freedom by those who would rule us without our permission. Normally when people are asked to sacrifice, there’s a good reason for them to comply. Invasion, Global War, stuff like that. So let’s take a quick look at some of the things for which our sacrifice (is it a “sacrifice” when it’s not voluntary?) is demanded.

Arguably the biggest problem of Baby Boomers in government (other than they’re not retiring and just going away to prattle amongst themselves and stop damaging the rest of us) is that they have this childish idea that nothing changes – ever. That everything has been the way it has been over their pampered, safe, wealthy lives enriched by the Industrial Revolution they now demand to reverse;  that the world they see through Disney’s lens is the real world. For the rest of us to listen to them is absurd. Seas rise, mountains slump and volcanoes volcano.

Here in the real world, actual data show none of the “ills” with which our betters were entertaining one another in vodka-fueled stories around the Glasgow campfire at COP26. The Lancet, in fact, (via the WSJ) a journal the elite rely on when it tells stories they like, reports that, no, we’re not all going to die from the heat in 12 years.

The Lancet published what is arguably the largest study ever to examine excess mortality associated with temperature. The study’s authors, 68 scientists representing universities and research institutes in 33 countries spanning all regions of the world, came to two clear conclusions: cold temperatures contribute to far more deaths each year than warmer temperatures, and deaths associated with extreme temperatures, hot or cold, are declining. Referencing data on more than 130 million deaths from 43 countries, located in five continents they found that 5,083,173 deaths were associated with non-optimal temperatures per year, with most of these excess deaths tied to cold temperatures.

Maybe our betters are complaining that we aren’t dying fast enough? Perhaps we’re reading the entire global warming fantasy incorrectly and they want us to get colder so we can die more quickly?

Who needs heat?

It’s also what those searching for extra-terrestrial life are saying by looking for an off-world home that is five degrees C warmer than earth for optimal conditions for human life. And, of course, all food plants thrive at warmer temperatures and increased CO2, thus allowing the poor to be fed. I guess the elites don’t really care about the poor.

I’m with 'em – let’s find a warmer place and ship Davos Man there. Better for them. Better for us. Less hot air, too.

The Phony Climate War

President Biden is on record as saying that top Pentagon officials consider climate change to be the "greatest threat" to America’s national security in the coming years. Go figure. Military men mistaking hot days for onrushing barbarian hordes?

It is a truth universally acknowledged that some aging or retired military men (not all, I rush to say) go soft in the head, so to speak. And, if it isn’t universally acknowledged, it should be. I took a tour in Israel in November 2014, organised by Shurat HaDin. The tour had a military and intelligence bent. At one point we stood near the “Green Line” (the border in 1967, prior to the Six-Day War) at Alfei Menashe. Tel Aviv was a mere 16 km away as the crow or armoured shell flies. It’s obviously an indefensible border for Israel. A retired general was speaking to us. Wars don’t solve anything, he said.

Being a troublemaker, I queried, what about WWII? He was obviously annoyed with me and retorted that WWII was an exception. I just about resisted piping up with, how about the Six-Day War? What I took away is that you don’t necessarily want retired generals fighting your wars lest they’ve become deluded peacemakers in the face of implacable enemies or, worse, woke.

Talking of woke, General Mark Milley, struggling with his white rage, is not yet retired, sadly. David Morrison, chief of the Australian Army from 2011 to 2015, whose forte was diversity and inclusion, is retired, thankfully. Regrettably, neither stands out from the crowd these days among senior military men, former and current. Assertive masculinity has taken a bit of a hit among the top brass in Western armies in modern times. Colonel Jessup need not apply. For our survival, we can only hope that China is not slipping behind in the diversity, inclusion, and transgender-surgery stakes.

The forgoing is a bridge to my lack of surprise to find a new climate group popping up in Australia, populated mostly by former senior commanders in the army, navy and air force. Australian Security Leaders Climate Group (ASLCG) is its moniker. “Missing in Action” is the title of its first report, issued in September this year.

Who is missing in action? Why Australia; which, according to the report, “has repeatedly ignored the risks and is ill-prepared for the security implications of devastating climate impacts at home and in the Asia-Pacific.” Much hype follows; e.g., “responding to the climate threat is fundamental to the survival of the nation.” But it’s the lies rather than the rhetorical hyperbole which got my attention.

Maybe I’m old fashioned. Military types may turn into shadows of their former gung-ho selves; they may even become susceptible to wokeness and green Kool-Aid. I don’t expect them to speak with forked tongues. Yet there it was staring at me:

Today, unimaginable new climate extremes confront us: record-breaking droughts and floods, cruel heatwaves, unstoppable bushfires, broken infrastructure, and coastal inundation. Worse is expected to come.

A wild thought. If man-made catastrophic climate change is so compelling, why do they have to make up lies about it?

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I will take the ASLCG falsehoods in turn; mostly with reference to the experiences of the United States and Australia. I won’t turn to graphs and trends and the like. I’ll just pick out some teaching events. Events which might broaden the historical perspective of these born-again climate warriors; and, maybe, even deter them, and others like them, from telling porkies quite as brazenly as they seem inclined to do. First to droughts.

According to NOAA, “the 1930s ‘Dust Bowl’ drought remains the most significant drought – meteorological and agricultural – in the United States’ historical record.” According to National Museum Australia, “the ‘Federation Drought’ from 1895 to 1903 was the worst in Australia’s history, if measured by the enormous stock losses it caused [moreover] South-Eastern Australia experienced 27 drought years between 1788 and 1860, and at least 10 major droughts between 1860 and 2000.” From ten-a-penny droughts to flooding plains.

The Mississippi Flood of 1927 is “one of the worst natural disasters in the history of the United States.” In Australia on 24 June 1852, “a catastrophic flood swept through the New South Wales town of Gundagai… The disaster is still the deadliest flood in Australia’s recorded history.” To heat waves...

The period from 1930 to 1936 brought some of the hottest summers recorded in the United States. “For the Upper Mississippi River Valley, the first few weeks of July 1936 provided the hottest temperatures of that period, including many all-time record highs.” Despite the Australian Bureau of Meteorology trying to scrub the inconvenient measurement from history, the highest temperature ever recorded in Australia was 51.7°C in Bourke, in outback NSW, on January 3, 1909. How much CO2 was around then?

G'day, mate!

On bushfires, I’ll stick with Australia. You will might recall that “Australia ablaze” set the Hollywood set abuzz during the 2019-20 Australian summer. Here’s Bjorn Lomborg: “Fires burned 10 percent of Australia's land surface on average every year in 20th century… this century 6 percent [and in] 2019-20 [less than] 4 percent.” Those pesky inconvenient facts again, undoing lies.

On broken infrastructure, let’s go to Galveston in 1900 and to the greatest natural disaster in the history of the United States. Evidently, former military men are in need of a history lesson and a geography lesson too when it comes to inundation. To wit, the plight of sinking Pacific Islands never fails to bring out the begging bowls at annual COPs. Inconveniently, recent research by the University of Auckland, “found atolls in the Marshall Islands, Kiribati and the Maldives archipelago have grown up to eight percent in size over the past six decades, despite sea level rise.”

It's a case of never mind the truth when it comes to the phony climate war.  The retired military brass wants to see Australia “mobilising all the resources necessary to reach zero emissions as fast as possible.” Apparently, the cause is so flimsy that only propaganda will rally the troops. Incidentally, I haven’t nearly picked up all of the make-believe. Prime example: “In vulnerable countries, governments have collapsed and civil wars have erupted, forcefully displacing millions of people looking for a safe haven.” They must live in an alternative universe or in a Walter Mitty world. And to think, we might once have depended on them in time of a real war -- or will have to again.

Suffer the Little Children

Headlined in an article published in Nature on July 20, 2021: “Deaths from Covid ‘incredibly rare’ among children.” The figures tend to be murky. Deliberately so, I’m inclined to believe. Nevertheless, it seems clear enough that almost all, perhaps all, of the relatively tiny number of children aged 5- to 11-years-of-age who have died from Covid have, in fact, died with Covid; having had serious underlying illnesses or disabilities of one kind or another, including untoward obesity.

Choose your virologist, immunologist or epidemiologist if you want a view that suits your own. They can be found. One of my choices is Yale epidemiology professor Dr. Harvey Risch. He’s often on Fox News. I prefer his cautionary approach when it comes to children. Keep them home-schooled rather than compulsorily vaxxed in school, he argues. Do no harm, rings a bell with me. This, from Dr. Eric Rubin, doesn’t. He’s professor of immunology at Harvard, and a member of the FDA advisory committee. When asked, prior to FDA approval, about the safety of the Pfizer vaccine for children, he reportedly replied:

We’re never going to learn about how safe the vaccine is until we start giving it. That’s just the way it goes.

Why are children akin to lab rats among those on the left? Rubin will be of the left; no doubt about that. You will know them by their utterances. I struggle, but think it is to do with the greater good, as they see it, trumping individual rights. If a child must die to save ten old people; well, do the sums.

Do it for the children.

Used to take coffee each week with a couple of blokes who lived in the same apartment building. Unsurprisingly, both were somewhat to the left of me but the conversation was convivial. Progressively, pun intended, the group grew by another four, including one dreadful feminist harpy. As the group grew, so did its centre of gravity move radically leftwards. I divorced the group to remain sane. I doubt they missed me, being unchallenged henceforth when swapping agenda-driven distortions and lies.

There was a gay marriage postal plebiscite in Australia in November 2017. As you might imagine I was the only one of seven who voted no, but that’s by the way. One bloke, a member of Australian Skeptics (skeptical of everything except for global warming) and vice president of a humanist fringe group, the Secular Party of Australia, was particularly far gone. He provided us all with a draft of a submission his party intended to make to government; arguing, in part, that the needs of gay ‘married’ couples needed to be weighed in deciding whether they could adopt babies and young children. I annotated his draft, before returning it, with NO, NO, NO! It didn’t influence his final submission.

But you see, being far gone leftwards, he took very little account of the rights of babies and infants who can’t speak for themselves. He seemed not to comprehend that their welfare in the matter of adoption is not only paramount but all that counts, whoever is adopting them. It isn’t something that can be put in the context of the greater good. But he was prepared to stack the interests of gay couples against the interests of babies and infants; presumably, to serve, in his warped mind, the greater good. And by this route, I come back to my point.

Governments and medical authorities seem prepared to stack the interests of aging adults against the interests of children. This thinking is so estranged from the thinking of yesteryear that we, those of us who’ve retained moral standards of the quite recent past, are thrown off balance. Effectively, we are at sea. Answer: set the compass due north and steer towards truth, justice and the American way, so to speak. No compromise. Put false trails into stark relief.

There is no medical justification for vaccinating young children against Covid.  Older children too for that matter. To all intents and purposes, they face no risk from the virus. How much risk they face from the vaccine, whichever one, is unknown with any certainty. In normal course, the vaccines would not be given to children. If the principal rationale is to inhibit the spread of the virus among adults; it’s unconscionable. Close enough to evil to scare me. Yet it’s happening.

What am I, a lab rat?

Countries are already doing it. Israel started in late November, as did Canada and the United States. Reports out of the U.K. suggest it may start there in the spring.  When the FDA gave its tick of approval for vaccinating twenty-eight million 5- to 11-year-olds in the U.S., Emma McBryde, an infectious-diseases modeller at the Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine in Townsville said, “it will save lives.” She went on:

But it could also have a broader impact, given that many US children aged 5 to 11 have returned to school unvaccinated in the past few months, and the group now accounts for a significant portion of new Covid-19 cases, capable of transmitting the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 to others… For every child’s life you save, you may well save many, many more adult lives.

Catch the pointed end bit. Exactly how many children are worth putting at unwarranted risk from vaccines to save adult lives; and mostly aged adult lives? Median age of death from Covid in Australia in 2020 equals 87 years (82 years for deaths from all causes). No child has died.

But, amid the ridiculously hyped-up Omicron kerfuffle, Professor Paul Kelly, Australia’s chief medical officer, said that he was awaiting advice from the TGA (Australia's equivalent to the FDA) on offering vaccines to 5- to 11-year-olds. For what possible legitimate purpose?  And notice the word offering, implying a free choice. Really, exactly how long would it be before little Jill and Johnny were singled out as unvaxxed pariahs?

Finally, I have begun to realise that my erstwhile coffee companion is, in fact, no further gone leftwards than is the whole apparatus of governments throughout most of the world; and throw in most of the media; and, regrettably, most of the medical establishment. There is little remaining to know about the malign influence of the left. Yet, its influence has been even more pernicious than might have been thought possible. Locking children out of school is bad enough. Societies which are prepared to play fast and loose with children’s very lives have surely lost all moral compass.

Morrison Fiddles While Australia Burns

Do you ever make a promise that you know you won’t keep? Keep, discard? Discard, keep? I dare say you might, at least every New Year. Prime Minister Scott Morrison has promised that he’ll stick with Australia’s target set in the Paris Agreement of reducing emissions by 26 to 28 percent on 2005 levels by 2030. He knows he won’t keep it. Politicians don’t worry too much about that sort of thing. That’s why they’re politicians.

Developed countries made up their own targets as part of the Paris Agreement. Some, like the U.S. and Canada, anchored their targets to the base year of 1990. It’s a dog’s breakfast. Whatever target countries set in 2015, they were supposed to up the ante after five years. They didn’t and haven’t but have promised to consider doing so by the time next year’s Egyptian COP27 rolls around.

As it stands, Australia is seemingly on course to better its target. Therefore, Morrison, if he's still in office, will grab the costless kudos in Egypt of upping the target. He just won’t say so now. He wants to win the upcoming election. He’ll try to force the opposition Labor Party into making a bid of say 40 or 45 percent. Then, gotcha! You coal-mine closers and job killers. It’s the way he won last time. Why change a winning formula?

Re-election ho!

It’s all political theatre. Coal’s good one day, tomorrow belongs to net-zero. Electric cars will destroy motoring as we know it (election campaign 2019) to here’s a heap of government money ($250 million plus another $500 million of public and private money) to build public charging stations. Morrison plays the climate game like the fiddle it is. He doesn’t have a position on the climate at all. I doubt he’s thought about it and most certainly not read about it. He has position on keeping his job. And that cynicism carries over to Australia’s newly-released modelling of its net-zero plans.

A vainglorious quest to cool the planet has taken over all reason. The gains explored in the modelling have little to do with saving Australia or the planet from the incipient ravages of climate change. They have mostly do with warding off the ire of international financiers; who, in their wokeness, would take a dim view of Australian climate recalcitrance. They would punish us to the tune of from 100 to 300 basis points, according to Treasury mandarins. In turn, this would wreak havoc on investment and reduce living standards. And there’s more. Countries and their citizens would take umbrage, likely impose trade barriers: and, thus, buy less of our produce. Result: misery.

So, you see, the substantive gain from committing to net-zero, more properly, from announcing the commitment to net-zearo, is the avoidance of penalising international action. Australia will be part of a quite novel bootstraps movement which is likely to sweep all before it; China, India and other so-termed gigantic but still-developing nations excepted. Action designed to combat global warming will, in fact, be driven by the imperative to combat being singled out for not taking action to combat global warming. If you follow my drift.

Notice something about the climate plans of governments, whichever government. They all dance on the surface and hope no one queries the unseen details and consequences. Reading Frédéric Bastiat (1801-1850) might help.

Take electric cars. The Australian government wants 30 percent of all new cars sold by 2030 to be electric or hybrid. The aim is to have 1,000 public charging stations. Currently there are about 6,500 refuelling stations in Australia. Fewer per capita than in the U.S. or Canada, more than in the U.K. Geography and demography tell the tale. They also tell the tale whether you’re driving an internal-combustion vehicle or an electric one. One thousand public charging stations, if they’re ever built, scratch the surface. Whence comes the rest; who’ll foot the bill?

They say people will charge their cars overnight in their garages. Which people? Or is that rich people? When I drive around inner suburbs of Sydney, I see cars parked, packed, along every suburban street. When I return to my birthplace in Liverpool England, I see the same. It may come as a surprise to the rich and famous but not everyone has off-street parking let alone a garage. Where are they to charge their cars?

How is Mrs. Robinson to refuel her flattened-battery EV parked outside her home in order to get to work, ten miles away? She might just make it to her closest charging station five miles away. Wait in line, as others like her, as each vehicle in front of her takes about 30 minutes to recharge. She’ll be very late for work; that is, unless she rises at 4 am. Complain not, comrade citizen. You’re gonna get your mind right for the sake of the planet.

Here's to you, Mrs. Robinson.

Any plan or modelling of electric cars should set out the life cycle of a typical vehicle; it’s upstream, downstream, and side-stream implications and consequences. We can handle the truth. But I don’t think they know the truth or care about finding it. They certainly don’t include it in any modelling I’ve seen.

Electric cars are being foisted on populations to save the planet apparently. Why then doesn’t modelling show the human, environmental and extraction costs of mining sufficient rare earths in China and, say, Madagascar. Why doesn’t it evaluate the (internal and external) transport and manufacturing costs, the eventual disposal costs, and the costs of providing a refuelling network? The effects of scale on electricity generation? How about the fire-service costs of dealing with unextinguishable electric-vehicle fires?

The fundamental problem here is the replacement of the free market with crony capitalism, aka the Great Reset. Morrison says that we Australians will rely on technology and the market to deliver solutions. But it’s not the market, here or elsewhere. On one side is government, on the other packs of rent-seekers, snake-oil salesmen, and purveyors of boondoggles vile and various.

The free market goes down dead ends many times. The difference is that it quickly reverses course in the face of financial penalties. Government-subsidised and -funded dead ends can be very long and debilitating. And they will be.

Final thought. Wake in fright in the Anglosphere.  Biden, Trudeau, Johnson and Ardern are far worse than Morrison.

A Magic-Pudding Antipodean Plan to Reach Net-Zero

The Liberal and National Parties form Australia's current coalition government. As leader of the Nationals, the junior coalition partner, representing regional and rural areas, Barnaby Joyce is Australia’s deputy prime minister. He came to global attention, you may recall, in 2015 when he threatened to “euthanise” Johnny Depp’s illegal-alien dogs, Pistol and Boo, unless they were removed tout de suite back to California.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison needed Barnaby to bring the Nationals onboard the concept of net-zero. The supposedly right-of-centre Liberal politicians all now embrace climate change. Morrison himself has no philosophy except to be re-elected. Barnaby is a climate skeptic as are some of his party colleagues. But they voted, and pragmatism won the day.

Nirvana ahead! All aboard!

What does pragmatism look like? In this case, twelve Nationals against nine voting in their party room to keep the government together and heighten their chances of being returned to power when the federal election is held early next year. Was there any high principle or conviction involved? Hardly.

This is Barnaby just a little over a year ago: “prospects of getting out of that [party] room as leader [having agreed to net zero] would be zero.” And here he is a few days ago on October 25: “The party has clearly said that they are in favour of a goal of net zero by 2050. I am now absolutely onboard…”

What we have is the deputy prime minister of the country being personally opposed to the very centrepiece of government policy; a policy that will define the battle lines in the forthcoming election. He should resign you might think. Not if you like being deputy prime minister.

There is an excuse of sorts for all of this. Morrison needed to go to Glasgow promising net-zero or risk Australia's becoming an international pariah and suffering retribution from international capital markets. It’s expedient for the U.K., Europe, the United States, woke corporates, and billionaires to point the finger at Australia (less than 1.2 percent of global emissions). No good blaming much bigger fish: China, India, Russia. They’ll shrug it off or, worse, take umbrage. Better to pick a more compliant mark. Kick the cat, so to speak. And Boris Johnson repaid Australia’s redemptive compliance by calling it “heroic.” Morrison purred.

If he only had a brain.

My own view is why stop at net-zero? Go for broke, gross-zero. Anything is possible with Morrison’s costless plan. It won’t cost Australians a cent and will lead to higher incomes and more jobs, he promises. I don’t know why it wasn’t thought of before now. Years ago. And surely, logic says, if net-zero is so beneficial, gross zero would be even better?

The costless plan involves public spending of many billions of dollars; though, apparently, Australian taxpayers won’t be touched for the tab. It’s one of those magic-pudding plans (“The more you eats the more you gets”) which more than pays for itself. So, what is the plan?

Here it is below in a nutshell. It has to be in a nutshell. There are no costings or details.

First, the plan banks the fact that emissions are already 20 percent lower than in 2005. I don’t quite know how that works. Never mind, most of another 40 percent comes from green hydrogen. Australia’s former chief scientist, Alan Finkel, says that the export potential “is almost beyond imaginings.” He’s right, for once. It is beyond imaginings. It’s worthwhile to continually remind ourselves why coal, oil and gas, of which Australia has plenty of the first and third, are so good. It’s because they are the energy. Dense energy. They readily burn without much ado.

Green hydrogen is only energy once much more energy is expended making it into energy. To begin with, energy is required to purify copious quantities of water. To end with, energy is required to convert hydrogen to ammonia, for safe transportation, and to convert it back for use. In the middle is an energy intensive electrolysis process to isolate hydrogen from water. And all the while, solar farms and wind turbines occupying vast areas of land are needed to supply “clean” energy to make it all possible.

Quite apart from its sheer inefficiencies and costs, and assuming it can be done at all at scale, it poses untenable national-security problems. When all of your power plus fuel for transport is sourced from untold acreages of solar panels and wind turbines, the targets are expansive and unmistakable and the effect of them being hit is catastrophic.

Sitting ducks.

The hallmark of the plan, its electoral selling point, is net zero through "technology not taxes." Ergo, another 15 percent of the descent to net-zero is achieved by piggybacking on global technological developments, which are apparently afoot. Yes, I’m not quite sure what that means either. Another 10 percent comes from storing carbon in soils and plants and from buying offsets from abroad. The final 15 percent comes from unknown technological breakthroughs. Something will turn up. Not making this up. I’m essentially quoting from the plan, if not Mr Micawber his own good self.

The plan, of course, isn’t a plan at all; it’s a wish list. Hopes and dreams. Suspend disbelief, and you will be able to look forward to 2050 when there will be more than 100,000 more jobs than would otherwise exist. Each Australian will be $2,000 better off. Electricity bills will be lower than they are today. Australian exports will more than triple between 2020 and 2050, even though global demand for coal and gas will plummet.  Hydrogen will more than take up the slack. Warp-speed travel will also take Australians to the stars and beyond. I made that last bit up. It isn’t in the plan; unlike the rest of the faery tale.

All isn’t fantasy. Realism breaks through when it comes to methane. Australia is one of the few countries which has more cows and (many) more sheep than it has people. Awa’ to Glasgow and pressure on Australia to reduce methane emissions by 30 percent on 2020 levels by 2030. Apparently, Biden’s handlers are keen. Suspecting, I imagine, that Trump supporters eat lots of hamburgers.

Cows belch methane; as do sheep to a lesser extent. And there is little you can do about it apart from culling. Barnaby and his mates would never agree to that. Millions of disappeared animals is just too tangible. Best to remain in technological never-never land where nothing is remotely tangible. Pay no attention to the men behind the curtain.

When Churchmen Become Apparatchiks

What happens when Christianity meets government tyranny? Does a Christian have to fall into line? What happens when a Christian warrior meets Covid-inspired tyranny? In that case, in the Australian state of New South Wales, tyranny wins.

Back in September 2020, Gladys Berejiklian, then premier of New South Wales, ordained that us churchgoers could worship again, provided we observed social distancing rules and refrained from hymn singing. Subsequently, we’ve been locked out entirely. That’s by the way.

The lesson of the day at my Anglican church was taken from St Paul’s letter to the Romans (13:1-5). The message conveyed by the minister, and certainly received by the congregation, was unmistakable in the circumstances. Disobeying the rules was not just a rebellion against the diktats of Ms Berejiklian but against God’s wishes.

"Leadership": former NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian.

When Jeff Sessions was Attorney General, and under attack, rightly or wrongly, for separating families who had illegally crossed the southern border, he also invoked the bible: “I would cite you the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13 to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained them for the purpose of order.” Sessions, a United Methodist, was no doubt taking a lead from the teachings of his church.

It’s a common enough refrain from churchmen. They construe parts of the New Testament, Titus (3:1-2), Hebrews (13:17), 1 Peter (2:13-14); but, principally, Romans 13, as an instruction to obey the law whatever is the character of the law. It’s nonsense; both theologically and as a matter of common sense.

The passage in Paul’s letter to the Romans begins, “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established.” But instructively, it ends by referring to the need to submit to the authorities as being “a matter of conscience.” Conscience is surely a manifestation of God’s law within us. To a Christian, what else is it? And Peter and his fellow apostles (in Acts 5:29) make the position clear: “We must obey God rather than any human authority.”

The Old Testament has numbers of confirmatory examples. For example, the midwives (in Exodus 1:15-17) disobeying Pharaoh by delivering Jewish male babies alive. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego (in Daniel 3 :12-18) refusing to bow before King Nebuchadnezzar’s golden idol.

As for common sense, are we to believe that brave Christian families should have obeyed the law and handed in Jewish families to the Gestapo rather than hide them? Other examples abound which test the supposed biblical rule of needing to obey the law and find it wanting. Thus, there is no rule. Laws and their prosecution are no more above disdain than are other spheres of human action.

Martin Luther King Jr. put it well in his letter to white clergymen, written from Birmingham Jail on 16 April 1963:

A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law…One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.

Leadership.

A tyrannous law can be flouted in good conscience. And nowhere is the Covid-inspired tyranny more evident than it is in Australia. Unlike America and Europe, we have no islands of reason. No Florida; no Sweden. Everyone is onboard. There’s no political opposition; no media opposition. Governments easily get away with senseless restrictions on liberty. The police, their vassals, get away with thuggery, as we have seen most evidently and most disgustingly in Melbourne.

Much touted. Monday October 11. Freedom Day in NSW. I walk past my local pub in a suburb of Sydney. See crowds of youngish people through the doors and windows. None by the look of them at risk from Covid yet all, I know, are fully vaccinated. Part of the in-crowd. Alas, on the outer, I walk on.

I receive an email from my city club. “Welcome back,” it says. “I’m not welcome back at all.” I reply, sullenly.

Have coffee at my local café on so-called “Freedom Day.” My credentials unchecked, I daringly break the law by sitting and ordering a coffee. As a cautionary step, as a lawbreaker, I order my coffee in a takeaway cup and sit at an outside table so that I can quickly move off should the cops come around. Want to avoid a $1,000 fine (yes, that’s three zeros). That was yesterday. Today, I’m moved on. No longer welcome. No seat for me. So, this is what apartheid is like.

It comes to this. Infected people who are vaccinated are free to mingle and infect others. Uninfected, unvaccinated, people who pose no risk to others are barred from mingling. This is probably illegal, offending Australia’s Disability Discrimination Act 1992. It is illogical. And it is, most certainly, unconscionable and may well be in breach of the Nuremberg Code.

There was a reason for this, you know.

Circumstances affect cases. It’s been said often. It bears repeating. Covid presents no serious risk to healthy people. The vaccines are experimental in so far as they have not undergone five to ten years of clinical trials. They are leaky. They do not sterilize the virus. Those vaccinated still catch the virus and pass it on. The effectiveness of the vaccines in preventing serious illness quickly wanes.

On what proper basis then is there justification for the momentous step of making and prosecuting laws (diktats) which discriminately deny inalienable rights to those who make a personal decision not to get vaccinated? I can’t think of one. To me it is tyranny pure and simple.

Cometh the Christian warrior, the new state premier of NSW, Dominic Perrottet. He’s a self-proclaimed conservative; a Catholic; and a family man with six children. He’d previously expressed opposition to vaccine passports. Yet, he is the first to introduce them in Australia. Sure, he just followed the plan laid down by his predecessor Ms Berejiklian, who resigned under a cloud. But he could have stopped it. He didn’t. Tyranny prevailed.

Like Perrottet, I’m a Christian; and usually law abiding. But I have no respect for the diktats which rule my life in Sydney. I disobey the law when I think I can get away with it. My only concern is to avoid being caught and fined. I suffer no moral compunction, no pangs of conscience. I am, for the moment, a free man.

Dirty, Sooty, Black, and Indispensable

Australia like other countries individually, and collectively on the international stage, has seen a proliferation of government and non-government organisations dedicated to saving us from climate Armageddon. To name some under the auspices of just the federal government: the Clean Energy Regulator, the Clean Energy Financial Corporation, the Climate Change Authority, the Australian Energy Regulator, the Australian Energy Market Commission, the Australian Energy Market Operator and the Energy Security Board. What these organisations and many others do is hard for me to say. I do read their blurbs but for the most part their roles soon slip from my mind. My brain is not set up to manage the verbiage – to which I will return.

Mind you, a plethora of organisations provides opportunities for those who might otherwise struggle to find gainful employment. Easily alarmed? Please apply here. Being suffused with emotion when interviewed is probably favoured. Looking at clips of Greta Thunberg beforehand might be advisable.

I’m too cynical. As from a stopped clock, sometimes a glimmer of sense emerges. And, when you think about it, having the moniker of Energy Security Board (ESB) suggests that it is the most likely of climate organisations to employ one or two fifth columnists; i.e., people interested in keeping the lights on. And, as you would expect, any such treachery earns the ire of true believers.

How many Australians does it take to screw up an electric lightbulb?

The ESB is charged with telling a council of federal and state energy minsters (total nine) how to move to renewables while keeping the power affordable and flowing. Of course, it is an impossible task which is the reason its reports are so prolix and vague. How to wrestle with the irresolvable?

Answer, write many thousands of meaningless words, gobbledegook, complex convoluted sentences. Here are two at random from many hundreds. “Reforms are underway to refine frequency control arrangements, addressing the need for enhanced arrangements for primary frequency control and a new market for fast frequency response. [And] The ESB recommends the detailed design for a capacity mechanism that ‘unbundles’ the value for capacity from energy be developed over the next 12-18 months.”

I counted 664 pages of ESB reports since March 2019, including the three-part “final” report provided to the council of energy ministers in August this year. Alas, by the way, describing the three-part report as final is a wind-up. Much more to come. And a difficulty for the ESB is that it might have to get precise.

The ESB is chaired by Kerry Schott. It must be difficult for her, armed as she is with a doctorate from Oxford in pure mathematics. Some intellectual airhead would have been better suited to the job. He or she could have more easily glossed over the need for coal. Not Schott. She knows that coal power has to ramp up when the wind lulls and the sun dims; and that this is a problem for the economics of running coal-power stations. Her solution: coal-power stations might have to be paid for their capacity to deliver power not just for power they deliver. Otherwise, no coal power and inevitable blackouts; at least until the dawning of la-la land, when renewables come of age.

Imagine the angst this solution - so-called “coalkeeper” subsidies – has caused true believers. See, for example, here, here and here. Subsidising coal! Heresy afoot. But real, not imaginary, life gave Schott no option. Coal is being driven out of business by the economics of providing power at a profitable rate only when the heavily subsidised wind turbines stop turning. And stop turning they often do.

My friend Rafe Champion, who keeps watch on these things, reported another failure at breakfast time on Sunday September 5 in the states of South Australia (SA) and Victoria (Vic). Wind was delivering only 25 percent of its capacity in SA and 30 percent in Vic. I mention this instance because wind delivers much less power than this at times, and demand on Sunday mornings is relatively subdued. Yet, both SA and Vic needed to import power from other states – sourced from hydro and coal. What about when coal is gone?

Don't worry, bro, it happens to everybody.

Reports from the U.K. and Europe in the first half of September tell the same tale. “Energy prices have spiked to a record high in Britain after calm weather shut down the country’s wind turbines… Wholesale power costs surged to more than four times their normal level, forcing officials to fire up coal-based plants to handle demand.” [And] “Energy prices in Europe hit records as the wind stops blowing.”

Those in the ESB and in like organisations in every western country know that wind won’t work. What to do? Ms Schott and her ilk can’t say it can’t be done or let’s go nuclear. They’d lose their gigs and be replaced with others of more compliant dispositions. So, in addition to being wordy, they separate the future into the short and longer term. In the short term; thank goodness for coal. In the longer term, technology turns up Micawberesque to save the day. To wit:

A successful transition would see the right mix of resources, on the demand side and supply side, incentivised into the energy market which maintains reliability while minimising consumer costs. That mix will likely include new and evolved technologies which may require refinements to market arrangements.

In the meantime, coal power is being driven out of any future, and our enjoyment of a ready and affordable supply of electricity, the indispensable staff of modern life, is being thrown to the tender mercies of the fickle forces of nature.