©Viv Forbes 2019
Viv Forbes is a prolific contributor from Australia’s Saltbush Club. https://saltbushclub.com/
We’re behind in our posting and offer this compendium of his insights and commentaries of the past month.
12 May 2019
The Mad Mad Maths
of Australian Emissions Targets
Most politicians live in a green fantasy-land where facts and numbers don’t count.
They dream up fanciful figures for proposed cuts to industrial and agricultural emissions without any understanding of the remorseless growth of population.
The Australian government has set a target to reduce Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions by 27% from 2005 levels by 2030, just 11 years away. The ALP opposition plans to cut emissions by a staggering 45% by 2030.
Australia’s population is growing at 1.7% per year (higher than most other developed countries). At this growth rate, population will increase by about 50% from 2005 levels by 2030.
If we did NOTHING about cutting emissions, and the economy stood still, the continuing rise in population will ensure that emissions (and economic activity) per head of population will fall by 30% from 2005 levels by 2030.
Who among us is volunteering to use 30% less food, petrol, gas and electricity than we used in 2005 solely because of population growth? Who is promising to abolish the baby bonus and cut our intake of migrants, refugees, tourists and foreign students by 30%?
And of those prepared to make these sacrifices, who is volunteering to meet even the modest government cuts proposed for 2030 which will require us to use 50% less food, petrol, gas and electricity per capita than we used in 2005? The Green/ALP cuts would take us back to the middle ages.
We have just three choices – reduce population growth; abolish emissions targets; or welcome creeping poverty.
There is a fourth choice – eject all climate fools from the political stables in Canberra.
Their proposed emissions targets will harm the natural environment by splattering the land with subsidised wind and solar monstrosities. They will also divert land from producing food to producing ethanol fuel for cars, and they will force poor people into poverty with soaring electricity prices.
But they will have no measurable effect on climate.
The Snowy 2 Fraud
Malcolm Turnbull’s “Snowy 2” debases a great name – “the Snowy Scheme”.
The real Snowy Hydro-electric Scheme catches and stores water, uses it to generate reliable electricity, and then controls and releases that water for irrigation and other uses. It supplies both electricity and water.
Snowy 2 is a fraud – it provides ZERO additional supplies of water or electricity. In fact it will consume some of each. It will be a giant expensive battery propping up a grid which is becoming increasingly unstable because of the growing amount of unreliable weather-dependent wind and solar power.
It will take already stored water, buy electricity from the grid to pump that water up hill, and then recover some of that electricity by letting the water flow through turbines back down the hill.
To download this article with all images click:
Their aim is to buy cheap power when wind/solar energy floods onto the grid, and use this power to pump the water back up the hill. They would then run the generators and sell electricity when power prices are high. This will damage the profitability of base-load power stations by grabbing high power prices when wind/solar fails.
(As an aside, here is one bit of faint praise – Snowy 2 is probably better value for providing backup for unreliable green energy than the giant Tesla battery in South Australia, – but that is not saying much.)
It is unlikely that Snowy 2 will provide an acceptable return on taxpayer investment. The Federal government has already spent about $7,500 million on buying the Snowy Scheme and the Snowy 2 construction cost is sure to exceed $4,500 million. They should sell the project and devote all this spare cash towards ensuring the construction of a couple of modern clean-coal generators. These will be urgently needed if older existing power stations are prematurely closed by green pressure.
A short term Band-Aid would be some flexible gas backup generators paid for by the wind-solar operators who have caused the mess. But of course, thanks to lock-the-gate and death-by-delay we have no spare gas, especially down south.
11 May 2019
Back to the Medieval Green World
Greens dream of a zero-emissions world without coal, oil and natural gas. They need to think what they wish for.
First there would be no mass production of steel without coke from coking coal to remove oxygen from iron ore. People could cut trees in forests for charcoal to produce pig iron and crude steels, but forests would soon be exhausted. Coal saved the forests from this fate.
We could produce gold and silver without using mineral hydro-carbons and with ingenuity we could probably produce unrefined copper, lead and tin and alloys like brass and bronze. But making large quantities of nuclear fuels, cement, aluminium, refined metals, plastics, nylons, synthetics, petro-chemicals and poly pipes would be impossible.
Making wind turbines and solar panels would also be impossible without fossil fuels. A wind turbine needs lots of steel plus concrete, carbon fibre and glass polymers as well as many other refined metals – copper, aluminium, rare earths, zinc and molybdenum. Solar panels and batteries need high-purity ingredients – silicon, lead, lithium, nickel, cadmium, zinc, silver, manganese and graphite – all hard to make in backyard charcoal-fired furnaces. Transporting, erecting and maintaining wind and solar farms plus their roads and transmission lines needs many pieces of diesel-powered machinery.
Every machine on earth needs hydro-carbons for engine oil, gear oil, transmission oil, brake fluid, hydraulic oil and grease. We could of course use oils from, seals, beeswax and whales for lubrication – the discovery of petroleum saved the whales from this fate.
Roads would be a challenge without oil-based bitumen. The Romans made pretty good roads out of cobble-stones (this would ease unemployment). But hard labour would not sit well with aging baby-boomers or electronic-era Millenniums.
Cars, railways, motor launches, aeroplanes, I-Phones, TV and cat-scans would be out. Horses, oxen, sulkies, wooden rowing boats, sailing ships, herbal medicine and semaphore would have a huge revival. Some wood-burning steam tractors may still work and wood-gas generators may replace petrol in some old cars.
This is the return to the “zero-emissions” world that Green extremists have planned for us.
But modern life cannot not be supported by a pre-coal/oil economy. Without reliable electricity and diesel-powered farm machinery and transport trucks, cities are un-sustainable. In Green-topia 90% of us people will need to go.
But Greens should not expect us to go quietly.
10 May 2019
Flood Plains are for Floods
Flood plains are created by floods.
People should be free to build houses beside picturesque rivers but they must put up with the occasional flood.
To download this article with all images click:
Community groups will always help those stricken by floods but taxpayers and other insurers should not be forced to subsidise the insurance and flood damage costs for those who choose to live on flood plains.
Sensible people build on the hills and leave the flood plains for floods, farms, trees, market gardens and grass. Rational town planning would require sellers and developers to provide accurate flood maps to buyers and councils should paint flood levels on power poles.
Essential infrastructure should not be built on flood plains.
And rather than wasting billions on trying to change the global climate, governments should spend those billions on weather-proofing railways, bridges, roads and electricity supply.
9 May 2019
Hydro-carbons Beat Biofuels on all counts
Coal and oil are made from plants and animals that died millions of years ago when the atmosphere contained abundant carbon dioxide plant food. They are now very concentrated forms of energy which can be extracted from very small areas of land. Burning these natural hydro-carbons returns CO2 and fresh water to the atmosphere thus greatly assisting global plant growth. If we are lucky these extra gases in the atmosphere may also slightly delay the start of Earth’s next cooling cycle, but this looks unlikely.
Ethanol and biodiesel are made from plants growing now – sugar cane, beets, palm oil and grains. Growing these crops requires large areas of land and valuable fresh water for irrigation.
Growing bio-fuel crops extracts CO2 from the atmosphere but burning them quickly puts it back. This is a zero-sum game that does nothing positive for the environment or the climate.
Coal and oil are thus more enviro-friendly than biofuels. Locking the gate on coal, oil and gas while supporting policies that waste land, food crops and water for motor fuels is environmental desecration.
Speculators should be free to make biofuels but these should not be subsidised or mandated.
6 May 2019
Warming came before Coal
If human use of coal and oil is causing the Modern Warming, what caused the Minoan Warming, the Roman Warming and the Medieval Warming, all of which were warmer than today?
Every warm era was followed by a mini-ice age – a time of blizzards, iced rivers, starving stock, failed crops and hungry humans.
To download this article with all images click:
Only fools would try to kill the warmth by reducing aerial CO2 plant food.
And only idiots would destroy their reliable electricity supply in this futile crusade.
6 May 2019
Following Foolish Forecasts
Well-trained meteorologists with mountains of real data and massive computers cannot forecast the weather more than a few days ahead.
But make-believe academic “climatologists” using doctored data have created over 100 complicated computer models pretending to forecast global climate decades ahead.
NOT ONE model has produced a correct forecast for 25 years.
Yet we are prepared to trash our economy, inflate electricity costs and destroy heavy industry on the basis of these massaged models.
Only politicians and green dreamers could believe such nonsense.
4 May 2019
Why Big Miners turned Green
by Viv Forbes, BSc, MAusIMM, Executive Director, the Saltbush Club
“Big miners like Rio and BHP employ many geologists, chemists and physicists who can show that natural climate cycles have been occurring for millions of years. Why then are their boards pushing the man-made climate fable?
“It’s all about money.
“Wind turbines, solar farms and electric cars need humungous amounts of copper, steel, rare earths, lithium, silicon and aluminium for towers, transmission lines, charging stations, generators, motors, panels and batteries.
“This means higher metal prices and bigger profits, dividends and bonuses.
“All pretty simple.
“In a big race always back “Vested Interest” – you know he is really trying.”