Tuesday, December 06, 2022

Can the Green/Leftists recognize the difference between fact and falsehood?

I was inspired to write the question above by a recent edition of the once-scientific "Scientific American". It long ago became a Leftist organ, with an interest only in the bits of science that Leftists like. Behold below the cover of the October "Special" edition:

image from https://static.scientificamerican.com/sciam/cache/file/0648F4B4-B003-40E2-8DDC9BB14B341B06_source.jpg

It amused me that a Leftist organ had set itself up as an artbiter of truth. Leftists often seem to have no regard for the truth at all. Elon Musk has recently shown that the old Twitter management were energetic suppressors of the truth about Biden Jr's laptop, for instance.

And when cornered in an argument, Leftists often try to get out of jail free by saying "There is no such thing as right and wrong". And I think they do believe that. Calling somthing true has propaganda value for them but they don't really care if it is truth or not. There are certainly some philosophical difficulties with truth claims but denying the possibility of truth is denying the possibility of discourse, which is a dead-end if ever there was one.

Anyway, I decided to have a look at what the lavishly produced and illustrated "Special" edition had to say. I have a hard copy of it. Leftists avoid hearing conservative arguments like the plague but some of us have no fear of what both sides of an argument may have to reveal.

So I turned to the section about climate, a Left/Right touchstone if ever there was one. Getting the story right there would be very central to establishing the truth in current politics.

One reason why I turned to that section is that the statistics about climate are widely available and well agreed on among those who talk about the "science" of climate change. The statistics are there. It is only the construction you put on them that varies

In the hard copy of the magazine, the relevant section is headed: "Climate Miseducation". On reading such a heading, one would have thought that the first step would be to look at the climate statistics. Surely the debate cannot proceed until we do that.

But there is nothing like that in the article. The article is just a typical Leftist rave about evil oil compnies and such bugaboos. Oil companies are often very profitable so there is no way they can be anything but evil in Leftist eyes. So, far from looking for the truth, the article was just a whine

No mention that for 30 years between 1945 and 1975 atmospheric CO2 levels shot up but there was NO corresponding rise in global average temperature -- a 30 year period when the global temperature did not do what it should have. The industrial buildup of the immediate WWII postwar period was what was supposed to usher in global warming. Except that it didn't. A huge and very adverse truth about global warming was not even considered.

I read no more in the magazine. I binned it. I am too interested in truth to waste time reading drivel.


The nitrogen craze

The fact that we swim at the bottom of a sea of nitrogen seems to be overlooked somehow

The Dutch Minister for Nitrogen, Christianne van der Wal, announced that 3,000 farms will be forced to sell their properties to the government for immediate closure after ‘voluntary’ measures failed.

Christianne van der Wal, who incidentally is a member of the Freedom and Democracy party, does not understand that if a person is offered two choices that both end with the government snatching their farm – there’s nothing ‘voluntary’ about the outcome.

Chairman Mao did a similar thing in China during his ‘Great Leap Forward’ and it ended with citizens eating their children. His regime forced collectivised farming across China, promising that it was ‘fairer’ and more ‘community-minded’ than all that self-interested private agriculture.

Learning nothing from the deaths of 45 million Chinese, the Dutch Minister for Nitrogen moved closer to the limelight and allure of giddy, climate-worshipping reporters.

‘For agricultural entrepreneurs, there will be a stopping scheme that will be as attractive as possible.’

This is the villainous conclusion to the Dutch Net Zero scandal that forms part of an approaching global food shortage manufactured entirely by the United Nations and its unsustainable ‘sustainability goals’. Other victims include Net Zero poster child Sri Lanka which collapsed earlier this year and was all-but erased from the Climate Cult hive mind.

In addition to the Dutch government demanding 30 per cent of livestock in the Netherlands to be (literally – not figuratively) burned at the stake of Net Zero, Christianne van der Wal went on to offer ‘peak polluters’ a future involving a torture chamber of tailor-made permits and taxes.

These ‘peak polluters’ are better known as essential manufacturers and suppliers. They include Tata Steel, which announced that it would ‘become a world leader in decarbonization for the third time’ and intends to switch to hydrogen steel production, even though the industry is not expected to become competitive until 2035-50 (maybe) and requires huge amounts of power (which Europe no longer has).

Let’s be fair, ‘green hydrogen’ production, storage, and use is an energy black hole. Fellow battered company Ford has agreed to buy ‘green steel’ from Tata – assuming it manages to make any – for its cars that no one will be able to afford because of ‘15-20 minute cities’ like Oxford which want to trap people in tiny car-free bubbles.

None of these green-agreements with the government saved Tata Steel from a criminal investigation held by Dutch prosecutors into alleged pollution from two of their plants. According to AP News, ‘Prosecutors said that their investigation was into alleged “intentional and unlawful introduction of hazardous substances into the soil, air, or surface water”.’

The problem is not nitrogen or carbon dioxide – but an actual pollutant, lead. Creating steel causes vast quantities of emissions. There’s no irony in steel plants working overtime to create ‘Net Zero’ technology, polluting small villages so that rich celebrities can fly over North Sea wind farms and marvel at the ‘clean’ technology.

Tata Steel’s Port Talbot plant in Wales, for example, created hundreds of tonnes of steel to build the world’s largest offshore wind farm, the Dogger Bank Wind Farm. ‘Huge amounts of steel will be needed to help the UK achieve its Net Zero goals – to build everything from renewable energy and low-CO2 transportation to hydrogen production and distribution.’ Virtuous climate warrior Tata owns coal mines in Jharia and West Bokaro but also managed to buy 75,000 tonnes of Russian coal during the Ukraine-Russia conflict and has large holdings in North America and Australia.

Over a decade ago, Tata purchased a 5 per cent interest in the Queensland Carborough Downs Coal Project for a 14-year initiative involving 58 million tonnes of coal with options to delve into the 100 million tonnes of unexplored coal sitting in deeper seams. Tata now says it is ‘willing to underwrite coal developments in Queensland to spark a resurgence in investment and development it needs for its booming steel industry’.

Tata is frustrated by the Labor government in Queensland demonising coal which has led to a severe lack of investment. Tata managing director TV Narendran said that this soft environment of investment stems from the conflation of thermal coal and coking coal. This is not surprising given the rhetoric of the Left dumbing it down to ‘coal’. Coking coal remains the only industrially viable way to make steel for pesky things like wind turbines, but you won’t hear a Labor premier say they ‘heart’ coal.

‘One thing I hear from industry is that there is a bit of concern about the increase in royalties, which obviously has come up and that it will eat into profits and hence investments. The second concern is the questioning of the future of coal and not distinguishing between thermal coal and coking coal. Given coal is such an important part of the economy in Queensland I think there is an opportunity for industry and government to work together.’

Narendran’s comments don’t bode well for Queensland.

‘We are not looking at investments in Australia, but we are happy to underwrite capacity.’ He added, ‘The company [Tata] bought about $4 billion a year in coal from Australia and there was an expectation that it would double over the next decade. I think it’s not about anything specific that the government has said … if Australia was not seen as a stable reliable supplier, then Indian suppliers would be forced to go to places like Russia.’

Mate, you’re barking up the wrong tree. Didn’t you see the Labor, Greens, and Teals’ election messages? Queensland is completely abandoning coal and instead spending billions on wind farms which require – oh… Coal.

Today’s politicians are some of the most ‘pro-coal’ in decades, the difference is that they hide their love of coal beneath words like ‘wind turbines’ and ‘renewable’ while presiding over the largest mining boom in a century. They’d also rather the coal come from the third-world where no one can see it being mined. Guilt-free ‘out of sight, out of mind’ bird mincing machines delivered in time for the next election…

While there is a lot of money running around in the ‘green’ industry, somehow these places are still crying poor with their paws out for public money. For example, despite the Netherlands Tata site being instrumental in providing steel to high-demand ‘renewables’ projects, Tata steel ‘threatened to shut down the operation unless it received a 1.5 billion pound subsidy to build two electric arc furnaces’.

‘Green steel’ is many things – economically ‘sustainable’ is not one of them.

It is not only the world’s energy sectors that are stuck in an idiocy feedback loop. The same government order in the Netherlands Parliament that threatened to kill steel production has also made thousands of private farms ‘illegal’ overnight.

The Dutch people are living through a nightmare pseudo ‘nitrogen futures trading scheme’ where farms are killed to allow the government to build ‘900,000 desperately needed homes with wind farms’ without exceeding EU-mandated nitrogen emissions.

Who is going to feed all these people?

That’s a problem for tomorrow. As for closing farms to improve ‘biodiversity’ – how’s that biodiversity look in the middle of the 900,000 new homes? Or is that mostly concrete and steel…? Imagine being a farmer, dragged from green fields and told that the grey, lifeless city is the climate virtuoso.

Our children have been taught by publicly-funded teachers that the farms that feed them are ‘evil’ and the city is ‘sustainable’ – that giving up meat in exchange for bugs and lab-printed food is ‘healthy’ – and that cows are a bigger threat than billionaires counting their money on private islands that (somehow) haven’t been inundated by the same water that Pacific Islands use to blackmail Australian taxpayers.

Ralph Schoellhammer, Webster University assistant professor, spoke to Spectator Australia editor Rowan Dean on Outsiders about the convulsions of madness running through Western governments.

‘The Dutch are doing to their agricultural sector what the Germans did to their energy sector – and we all saw the consequences there. We get the promises that ‘Oh, this is not going to be a problem… we can move to alternative modes of production!’ and in the end they never work,’ he said.

‘In Germany, it is even more insane. They want 30 per cent of their agriculture to go organic, which means that they would turn from a net exporter of agriculture to a net importer of agriculture. During times of global food insecurity, it is complete insanity.

‘The Dutch are doing the same thing. These 3,000 farms are just the beginning – and the Dutch government is saying this.
‘It has to be stressed for your viewers that Nitrogen is a crucial ingredient for synthetic fertiliser and without synthetic fertiliser we could not feed the world. About four billion people simply would have no access to food.

‘This is a war, in many ways I would argue, against humanism – against humanity.

‘The dominant ideology – I am tempted to call it the cult-ish ideology – tells us that if you don’t change now, the world is going to end in ten years. Which, of course, it’s not.
‘This is part of a larger story.

‘Remember Sri Lanka… If you go back two years, everybody was cheering them on. “Ah, Sri Lanka! They show the way forward! Sri Lanka knows how to do it! They proved to the world that in fact, you don’t need fertiliser. You don’t need any kind of synthetic materials to feed your population!” And then it all broke down in a very short order. Because you cannot feed your people. Modern agriculture is an absolute necessity given the population numbers that we have.

‘I think this is overall a larger part of a kind of auto-immune disease that the West is afflicted by where we turn against everything that made our civilisation powerful.’

This is not the first time that socialism, in one form or another, has been described as a disease that attacks weak minds – and our civilisation has certainly grown physically and intellectually lazy after generations of easy-living.

When asked if Climate Change and Net Zero are a breed of Marxism – a common accusation – he replies:

‘For me, it’s less Marxism then it is a kind of secular coming of a new form of reformation. If you listen to how they talk. It’s about, you know, “society needs to be cleansed”. We need to change our ways of life. This sounds more like the Puritans would argue than the Marxists

‘It’s about “we need to eat less meat” and “we need to take fewer showers”. It’s all about society needing a baptism of fire to cleanse ourselves from the sins of the past. It’s a quasi-religious movement.’

Rowan Dean adds, ‘It’s also fascism if you ask me. Fascism is the marriage of authoritarian governments and big business.’

It could be both… Eco-fascism with a state religion.

A generation lacking morality and told to feel guilty about everything – including the colour of their skin – has found salvation in Climate Puritanism. It is the misguided belief that they are saving the world by turning celebrities, politicians, and bureaucrats into a pantheon of gods to which they offer grand sacrifices – such as liberty and prosperity – to appease ‘the greater good’. They want to pass through the needle of social media approval and enter the Utopia of #ClimateJustice where everything is free.

They fail to realise that Climate Change is a death cult, ruled by demons and attended by corruption – of the Earth, of our wallets, and of our civilisation’s future. After all, what ideology could be more evil than a one that denies the basic human rights of the individual and seeks power through ruin?


European grid operators are sounding the alarm over coal supplies in Germany and Poland

Poland faces greater risks toward the end of the season, European grid group Entsoe said in its winter outlook published on Thursday, suggesting that coal stocks there should be carefully assessed throughout the winter and not overused.

Germany has also been burning more coal for electricity lately -- due to low wind generation -- and the country will need to depend on coal even more after April, when it will completely turn off its nuclear plants. Even before that point, nuclear capacity will decline as fuel elements become exhausted during extended operation, Entsoe said.

Europe’s fragile energy systems are seeing their first winter test as colder weather kicks in. Leaders have been urging consumers to conserve energy in an effort to get through the season, and for now gas stockpiles are still close to full, despite a few weeks of net outflows. Entsoe hadn’t identified the risk to coal in a preliminary report in October.

In one of its scenarios, Entsoe expects an increasing share of electricity supply to be provided by gas-fired plants. It also said that net power exports from Poland may be limited during the winter due to the limited supply of coal.

The main system test, however, remains in Ireland, France, Southern Sweden, Finland, Malta and Cyprus, according to the European grid group. The European network will face the most stress in January and February, but France and Ireland could see issues before that, Entsoe said.

The slow revamp of nuclear capacity, mainly in France, but also a loss of nuclear capacity in Sweden and Finland, is challenges those countries’ power supply. However, France has lately been able to gradually bring back some of its reactors.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-12-01/european-grids-see-mounting-coal-supply-risks-in-germany-poland ?


Australia: The wave of investment into renewables could bring forward the closure of coal plant by up to a decade

image from https://content.api.news/v3/images/bin/f0be49ea759ff563e986d37cc4274153

Mark Collette above

This guy is a loon. He proposes to replace dispatchable coal power by new dispatchable gas-fired generation. What a waste of capital investment! It won't please the Greenies as gas is a "fossil fuel" and it will create a huge cost burden on already high gas prices. New demand must push gas prices higher. Maybe they are banking on Russian gas becoming available again. We can hope.

Power giant EnergyAustralia has revealed plans to spend $10bn over the next decade building new electricity generation as part of a broader industry push on green spending, a move that may hasten the departure of NSW’s last coal plant by up to a decade.

Ahead of a planned intervention into Australia’s domestic energy market, the nation’s third-largest electricity retailer and generator set out the new investment target to be split across renewables, storage and solar and battery systems in households.

The wave of investment required to hit Labor’s aim of tripling renewables capacity to 82 per cent by 2030 could also bring forward the closure of EnergyAustralia’s Mt Piper coal plant by up to a decade.

The Mt Piper facility was expected to be the final NSW coal plant to shut in 2040, but that timeline may jump forward by as much as 10 years depending on how quickly replacement generation is installed in its place.

“I‘m worried more about closures happening faster than new entry at the moment,” EnergyAustralia managing director Mark Collette told The Australian. “There’s a lot of modelling out there that shows a lot of closures coming. Historically, Australia’s had maybe three big coal closures in the past 10 years, with Australia facing something like 15 in the next 15 years.”

Asked if an expected wave of green investment would accelerate the exit of Mt Piper, Mr Collette said: “All of the coal-fired power stations in the country, I’d expect all of them to be gone as soon as there’s replacement technology available.

“So for Australia, the challenge is long duration storage. At the moment, coal and gas form that insurance for the system, so we can get through all weather conditions. The date at which coal closes is purely about how quickly we can have replacement from those sorts of services.”

The September quarter produced “a massive acceleration” in the timetable for closure of coal-fired generation on the east coast, according to consultancy EnergyQuest.

EnergyAustralia’s $10bn spending plan over the next decade mirrors a plan by Canada’s Brookfield to invest an extra $20bn in Origin Energy through to 2030 to build new renewable and back-up energy capacity should it prevail with a live takeover bid under way.

The nation’s other big player, AGL Energy, has also said it would need to find up to $20bn to accelerate its exit from coal generation, after announcing plans to bring forward the closure date of its Loy Lang A power station in Victoria.

EnergyAustralia has been in talks with investors to help fund its multibillion-dollar pipeline of projects, with the company’s parent, Hong Kong-listed CLP, previously pointing to a deal with pension giant CDPQ for its Indian business as a potential model it would consider for Australia.

“Our primary areas to invest in are behind the meter to bring the best of small-scale energy technology with grid technologies for customers. And then in flexible capacity, which is the reliable capacity that underpins a very high concentration of renewables and brings it to life,” Mr Collette said.

The company plans to install a giant battery at Wooreen in Victoria’s Gippsland region, a gas-fired power station near Goulburn in NSW, Lake Lyell pumped hydro in NSW along with the Tallawarra B gas plant.

“We can quite clearly see that for our market share it’s quite easy to get to investments of $10bn over the next 10 years. The energy transition is quite expensive and like all players, we’re working on the best ways to fund that transition,” Mr Collette said.

The energy industry is bracing for an expected intervention, with the Albanese government prepared to intervene in South Australia and Victoria on a gas price cap at $11-$13 a gigajoule amid a stoush with states on imposing coal price caps to lower bills.

EnergyQuest said targeting temporary financial support for consumers who are most vulnerable to energy price shocks would be a far better solution.

“Moves to cap gas prices would not only increase east coast gas demand and reduce supply, but it would also amount to a whopping and inefficient fossil fuel subsidy of over $20 a gigajoule,” EnergyQuest chief executive Graeme Bethune said.

“The Treasurer is getting $50bn of windfall gains to his budget through the increases in company tax and Petroleum Resource Rent Tax from the spike in fossil fuel prices. The states already have a mish-mash of energy grants for energy cost relief that could be much better targeted through the Commonwealth welfare payment system.”

Large manufacturers are being offered gas contracts for 2023 at rates up to five times the level being offered last year, with the government warning factories will shut down unless it makes an urgent market intervention to cut prices.

Oil and gas industry sources, who are concerned about Jim Chalmers expanding the petroleum resource rent tax to subsidise retailers and households, have said the government would face constitutional issues if it imposes price caps on east coast gas producers and not WA producers.


My other blogs. Main ones below

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM )

http://edwatch.blogspot.com (EDUCATION WATCH)

http://pcwatch.blogspot.com (POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH)

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS)

http://snorphty.blogspot.com/ (TONGUE-TIED)

http://jonjayray.com/blogall.html More blogs


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