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To 'Climate' Cultists, Arithmetic Is Passé
Peter Smith • 27 Sep, 2023 • 3 Min Read
What's a few bucks among friends?
Earlier this year Westinghouse announced that its 300 MW small modular reactor (SMR), would cost around US $1 billion; and, when the time needed for meeting regulatory requirements and for construction was taken in account, could be operational in the U.S. by 2033. In the meantime, back at the ranch: Australia’s obsessively anti-nuclear, pro-wind and sun, minister for climate change and energy, Chris Bowen, said that replacing all of Australia’s remaining fleet of coal power stations would require 71 SMRs and would cost A$387 billion; about US$257 billion. Shock horror!
It is a truth universally acknowledged that those on the left of the political spectrum are not too fond of arithmetic. Arithmetic is annoyingly consistent and doesn’t bend with the wind or with the agenda. It can be an informative aid in understanding the relative benefits and costs of particular courses of action. Robert Conquest comes to mind; specifically, his first law. Here it is:
Everyone is conservative about what he knows best. [Or, if you like] “Everybody is reactionary on subjects he knows something about."
Sensing the truth of this law, those on the left cloak themselves in ignorance and mysticism lest their grand visions fall apart in their own utopian minds. Thus, for example, in Bowen’s mind 71 SMRs at the cost of $1 billion each becomes $257 billion in total. Does he concern himself that his arithmetic is awry? Not a bit. That would mistake the man’s politics. He has no interest in discovering the truth. He has a narrative to push. However, this time, his hyperbolic costing of nuclear energy misses its mark. Rather like Dr Evil’s out-of-touch ransom demand of (gasp) one million dollars.
Apropos, even if the cost of going nuclear was A$387 billion that’s not a lot of money in the brave renewable-energy world ahead. After all, it was only in July this year that ‘Net-Zero Australia’ -- a partnership between two Australian universities, Princeton, and a management consultancy firm -- costed Australia’s march to net-zero at A$9 trillion over the next 37 years, of which A$1.5 trillion will need to be spent by the end of 2030. An amount of A$1.5 trillion is two-thirds of Australia’s annual GDP. Crazy money, as I noted in an earlierPipeline piece. Far crazier than Bowen’s hyperbolic costing of nuclear energy, yet he said nothing. Ignoring inconvenient facts and data means never having to put one’s theories to the test. Thus avoiding the fate of becoming conservative or, God forbid, reactionary.
Australia’s globetrotting socialist prime minister is anything but conservative. This allows him considerable latitude with the truth. Since attaining his exalted position in May 2022, comrade Anthony Albanese has jetted off over thirty times for foreign shores. His latest trip was to attend the G20 meeting in India on September 9/10, where he told porkies to world leaders.
Our communities have endured another year of extreme climate impacts. Devastating weather events have affected so many nations, including Australia. The science is clear: our climate has already changed. We are united in our ambition for a net-zero future. Now we must turn our hands to action: urgent, comprehensive action.
Albanese: on the road again, as usual.
I bet the contingents from the U.S., Canada, the U.K. , Germany, and France (maybe) nodded in collegial agreement with Albanese’s falsehoods and fantasies. However, I wonder what those representing India, China, Indonesia, South Korea, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Turkey, Japan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and South Africa really think. Do they embrace climate cultism with the same enthusiasm and cavalier disregard for facts? Doubt it. For a start, I doubt that they can as easily bamboozle their populations as can the political leaders of effete Western democracies.
What am I saying? Surely Western democracies epitomise listening to the people. Totally old hat. That was in days of yore when political parties practised adversarial politics and the press champed at the bit to hold authority to account. Now, for the most part, political parties only disagree around the edges. On “climate change” and on a range of other important issues; e.g., Covid, free speech, culturally-clashing immigration, the definition of a woman, bashing Russia.
And the press has joined the establishment; at least the left side of it which, let’s face the awful truth, is the most of it. Gainsaying the narrative is a peripheral endeavour. Pretty soon arithmetic will become passé when it doesn’t suit. Two plus two equals four? Not necessarily.
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.