Three Lies On the Road to Perdition

Peter Smith25 Mar, 2024 4 Min Read
The committee will now come to order.

First discovered in 2006, the Barossa undersea gas fields in the Timor Sea were later taken over by the energy company Santos. After meeting all regulatory hurdles and subsequently spending the last eighteen months battling legal injunctions sought on behalf of the rainbow serpent and the crocodile man, which I reported on recently in The Pipeline, Santos is only now at last laying pipe.

The gas will travel 160 miles from the wells to Darwin, whence, after processing, it will be exported to Korea and Japan. At this stage, the company says this will happen in 2025. Maybe it will. But the opposition hasn’t gone away. It is bloody-minded and never sleeps. Nonetheless, let's be optimistic and assume the gas starts flowing as predicted. It will have taken almost 20 years since the discovery of the gas fields to produce gas. At that rate, Jed Clampett might have died in Missouri rather than living high on the hog on oil riches in Beverly Hills.

Australians are rich only because of their exploitation of mineral and agricultural resources. Australia is the biggest exporter of iron ore, the second biggest producer of gold, vies with Indonesia as the being biggest exporter of coal, and with Qatar and the U.S. in exporting liquefied natural gas (LNG). It is third in exporting meat and first in wool and wheat, etc. For the most part, the rest of economic activity lives directly and indirectly off this bounty of commodity exports. This includes armies of public servants at state, federal and local levels and the vast array of social welfare and health benefits of which there is seemingly never enough.

What do we need, the hypocritical leftists proclaim? More hospitals, more health services, more public housing, bigger benefits but less emissions of greenhouse gasses (GHGs). In the vanguard of agitation for more free stuff is the Palestinian-lovin’ Greens (party). And, in the vanguard for the banning of fossil-fuel developments is, you guessed it, the Palestinian-lovin’ Greens. When you think about it, supporting the destruction of Australia’s source of wealth and supporting those who would destroy Israel has a synchronicity to it.

They used to say that Australia lived off the sheep’s back right up until the 1960s, when wool exports dwarfed all others. There was a truth to this which was openly acknowledged. Truth had more currency in those days. Lies had not yet completely taken over the public square. Today, the unpalatable truth, now hidden, is that Australia lives off the back of GHGs. Those scope 3 emissions that the climate cultists talk about, Australia produces in spades. And some of those countries which receive and use Australian exports, including China and India, are not too fastidious when it comes to curbing or caring about spewing GHGs.

Lies now define public debate. The other day the Labor premier of the state of Queensland, Steven Miles, debated the putative centre-right opposition leader, David Crisafulli. Right now, 90 percent of the energy used in Queensland is generated by coal, coal seam gas, and oil. Of course, along with the rest of the Western world, the state government has a mad renewable energy plan to achieve net-zero by 2050. And there’s more. It plans to generate 80 percent of the state’s energy needs by renewables by 2035. Part of the plan is to close the state’s existing five coal-fired power stations and build to two giant pumped-hydro stations, Borumba and Pioneer-Burdekin. Miles is committed.

 The two planned pumped hydro projects are critical to delivering renewable energy to drive power prices down…We are absolutely committed to them.

Crisafulli is skeptical. After all the cost of building the Pioneer-Burdekin Pumped Hydro station is still being worked on but has been tipped to exceed $12 billion. And, as we should know, these estimates are always underdone.

How much will Pioneer cost? When will it be built? What will it do to electricity prices? That has not been mentioned in Parliament.

Miles retorted: “Do you want to support it or cut it? That’s the question.” And it is a witheringly good retort. Because Crisafulli and his opposition party have committed to net-zero also. There is political unanimity on the unachievable goal. And at least the government has a plan to achieve net-zero, even if it is totally misconceived and unrealistic. The pumped-hydro projects will never be constructed. They are pie-in-the-sky. That said, Crisafulli and his opposition party just whine about the plan without having any plan at all of their own.

Basically Queensland is a microcosm of the West. The first lie is that we face a man-made "climate emergency." Fanatics and lunatics aside, no one actually believes that. But the compromised powers-that-be need compliance. Hence the Devil’s deception, the “noble lie.” The kind used to generate sheep-like behavior during the Covid hoax.

Welcome to Oz.

The second lie is that intermittent power sources together with storage will adequately replace hydrocarbon fuels and, to boot, provide power more cheaply. That’s a whopper. Goebbels would approve.

The third lie is that net-zero is even achievable. This is the defining lie. It’s the lie that most everywhere has sucked in both sides of politics. And when politicians, mostly the most wretched of people, coalesce, as they did with Covid, watch out. Effectively, it opens the gates for wild-eyed crusaders, such as Chris Bowen, Australia’s federal minister for climate change and energy. He’s intent on putting the nation on the road to perdition by make believing that living off the back of GHGs can be replaced by Australia becoming a renewable-energy super power. S.O.S.

After a career in economics, banking and payment-systems management, Peter Smith now blogs on the topics of the day. He writes for Quadrant, Australia’s leading conservative online site and magazine. He has written Bad Economics, of which, he notes, there is much.


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