Changing the conversation

8 12 2017

I have to say I have been baffled by some of the comments readers of this blog have left behind when I challenged the sustainability of planting a wind farm in the middle of nowhere in Australia’s outback…… well my friends, I am no longer the only one voicing the need for de-industrialisation. This piece from Resilience dot org, by Richard Smith, and originally published by Common Dreams and another I will soon also republish agree with me.  The time to add ANY MORE CO2 to the air is over…

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For far too long, polite conversation, public debate and consideration of policy initiatives have been subordinated to the imperatives of capitalist reproduction, above all profit maximization. Profit maximization and job creation go hand in hand and crucially depend upon economic growth. All “reasonable” solutions to the crisis of global warming take that as their starting point, a fundamental principle that cannot be challenged. This is the unspoken premise of carbon taxes: Carbon taxes do not threaten growth. They’re simply another cost of doing business, another tax which moreover can be passed along to consumers. This is why ExxonMobil, Shell, BP and most big fossil fuel companies support carbon taxes as the lesser evil (cap and trade is the greater evil precisely because a cap would threaten growth, which is why cap and trade are not acceptable to business and why such schemes have all been either rejected outright as in the United States or so watered down as to be useless charades as in Europe, British Columbia and elsewhere). The oil companies are not looking to put themselves out of business. Industry and IEA studies project that global demand for fossil fuels will rise by 40% over the next few decades and the oil companies intend to cash in on this growth. To do so they need to deflect criticism by being good citizens, paying their carbon taxes, contributing to the “solution” or at least appearing to do so.

The problem is, we live in an economy built on perpetual growth but we live on a finite planet with limited resources and sinks. To date, all efforts to “green” capitalism have foundered on this fundamental contradiction: maximizing profit and saving the planet are inherently in conflict and cannot be systematically aligned even if, here and there, they might coincide for a moment. That’s because under capitalism, CEOs and corporate boards are not responsible to society, they’re responsible to private shareholders. CEOs can embrace environmentalism when it boosts profits, as with energy efficiency, recycling, and new “green” products and the like. But saving the world requires that the pursuit of profits be systematically subordinated to ecological concerns—and this they cannot do. No corporate board can sacrifice earnings, let alone put itself out of business, just to save the humans because to do so would be to risk shareholder flight or worse. Profit-maximization is an iron rule of capitalism, a rule that trumps all else, and this sets the limits to ecological reform within capitalism—and not the other way around as the promoters of “green capitalism” imagined.

To save the humans we know we have to drastically cut fossil fuel consumption. But “Keep It in the Ground” is not just an abstraction and not just about future supplies. If we’re going to radically suppress fossil fuel consumption in the here and now as we must, then this has to translate into drastic retrenchments and closures of industrial plants across the economy—and not just of coal mines, oil and gas companies but all the fossil fuel dependent industries: autos, trucking, petrochemical industries, airlines, shipping, construction and more.

What’s more, the global ecological crisis we face is far bigger than just fossil fuels. We’re not just overconsuming fossil fuels. We’re overconsuming every resource on the planet, driving ourselves and countless other species to extinction. Ultimately, if we really want to save the planet, we’re going to have to shut down or at least drastically retrench all kinds of resource-hogging, polluting, unnecessary, unsustainable industries and companies from fossil fuels to bottled water, from disposable products to agrichemicals, plastic junk to military weapons of destruction.

Take just one: Cruise ships are the fastest growing sector of mass tourism on the planet. But they are by far the most polluting tourist indulgence ever invented: Large ships can burn more than 150 tons of the filthiest diesel bunker fuel per day, spewing out more fumes—and far more toxic fumes—than 5 million cars, polluting entire regions, the whole of southern Europe – and all this to ferry a few thousand boozy passengers about bashing coral reefs. There is just no way this industry can be made sustainable. The cost of the ticket for that party boat cruise is our children. The same can be said for dozens if not hundreds of industries, thousands of companies around the world. We can save these industries, save capitalism, or we can save the planet. We can’t save both.

Needless to say, retrenching and closing down such industries would mean job losses, millions of job losses from here to China (pdf).  Yet if we don’t shut down those unsustainable industries we’re doomed. What to do? There’s no point in chanting “Keep It in the Ground” if we don’t have a jobs program for all those workers whose jobs need to be excessed to save those workers’ children and ours. This is our dilemma.

Planned, managed deindustrialization or unplanned, chaotic ecological collapse

Capitalism cannot solve this problem because no company can promise new jobs to unemployed coal miners, oil-drillers, automakers, airline pilots, chemists, plastic junk makers, and others whose jobs would be lost because their industries would have to be retrenched—and unemployed workers don’t pay taxes. So CEOs, workers, and governments find that they all “need” to maximize growth, overconsumption, even pollution, to destroy their children’s tomorrows to hang onto their jobs today. Thus we’re all onboard the high-speed train of ravenous and ever-growing plunder and pollution.

And as our locomotive races toward the cliff of ecological collapse, the only thoughts on the minds of our CEOS, capitalist economists, politicians and labor leaders is how to stoke the locomotive to get us there faster. Professor Fong is right: Corporations aren’t necessarily evil. They just can’t help themselves. They’re doing what they’re supposed to do for the benefit of their owners. But this means that so long as the global economy is based on capitalist private/corporate property and competitive production for market, we’re doomed to collective social suicide and no amount of tinkering with the market can brake the drive to global ecological collapse.

We can’t shop our way to sustainability because the problems we face cannot be solved by individual choices in the marketplace. They require collective democratic control over the economy to prioritize the needs of society and the environment. And they require local, national, regional and international economic planning to re-organize our economies, to provide new jobs to replace those jobs we need to abolish, and to rationally and fairly redeploy resources to those ends. In a paper I wrote for The Next System Project last year—”Six Theses on Saving the Planet—I laid out my argument for ecosocialism as the only alternative to market-driven ecological collapse in the form of six theses:

  1. Capitalism, not population is the main driver of planetary ecological collapse and it cannot be reformed enough to save the humans.
  2. Green capitalism can’t save us because companies can’t commit economic suicide to save the humans. There’s just no solution to our crisis within the framework of any conceivable capitalism.
  3. The only alternative to market-driven ecological collapse is to transition to some sort of mostly planned, mostly publicly owned economy based on a global ‘contraction and convergence’ around a sustainable level of resource consumption that can provide a dignified living standard for all the world’s peoples while leaving enough for future generations and other species.
  4. Rational planning requires bottom-up democracy.
  5. Democracy requires rough socioeconomic equality – which requires that we abolish extreme differences in incomes and wealth and enforce those rights already in theory guaranteed to us in the Universal Declaration of Rights (1949) including the right to work at fair compensation, the right to equal employment, the right to adequate food, housing, medical care, education, social services, and a comfortable retirement.
  6. Far from “austerity,” an ecosocialist future offers us liberation from the treadmill of consumerism, from the fetishism of commodities. Freeing ourselves from the toil of producing unnecessary and /or harmful products and services would free us to shorten the work day, to enjoy the leisure promised but never delivered by capitalism, to redefine the meaning of the standard of living to connote a way of life that is actually richer, while consuming less, to realize the fullest potential of every human being. This is the emancipatory promise of ecosocialism.

For some readers, my arguments may raise as many questions as they answer. Fine. But if we don’t change the conversation, if we don’t deal with the systemic problems of capitalism and come up with a viable alternative, our goose is cooked.  So if not ecosocialism, then what? This is the public debate we need to be having right now. What are your thoughts?

One of my Facebook allies has written a reply of sorts to this article, because we both agree it doesn’t really go quite far enough……  some of us are true radicals…! I will post Saral’s essay soon.  Mike.


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40 responses

8 12 2017
Chris Harries

In the tight binary world that is western culture when a reader sees an article that challenges the renewable energy ‘solution’ they naturally put this into a context of Renewable Energy versus Fossil Fuels. The fight is on. No deep thought allowed. You must be on one side for the other.

The inference being that any questioning of renewable energy must be a prop for the fossil fuels industry. It’s a bit like George Bush’s famous “If you aren’t with us you’re against us” logic.

I’ve had to contend with this for years. Challenging the romantic hype whilst still being supportive. We have solar panels on our home plus solar hot water. It has its place. Where it really becomes unstuck is when we try to merge it into massive centralised economic systems. The other day there was even an article suggesting that WA wind farms can power Asia via undersea cables.

https://thewest.com.au/business/renewable-energy/asian-renewable-energy-hubs-13b-plan-for-pilbaras-sun-and-wind-to-power-south-east-asia-ng-b88676799z

This is the extreme end, but it’s the unfortunate natural end point of the global sustainability movement. What used to be an ecological movement has turned into a movement that is out to futilely try to sustain industrial society no matter what. This is where the renewable energy dream comes unstuck big time.

The problem is that nearly all the exciting stories on energy futures are about this tuff, rather than the much higher priority of adjusting our behaviours and culture to match our planet’s capacities.

11 12 2017
Jonathan Maddox

If you have a plan for ending consumption of fossil fuels *without* development of replacement ways to harness energy in the meantime, please do share it.

11 12 2017
Chris Harries

Jonathan you insist on pressing the ‘either’ / or ‘button’, as nearly everyone does.

As said, we have solar panels our roof. We don’t have a coal fired power station on our roof. I’ve been at the forefront of promoting the take-up of small scale renewables

The main problem we have isn’t technology it’s the attitude behind developing that technology. For most pundits its a way of maintaining the status quo… or trying to. It’s an argument that laissez faire capitalism can fi the problem. For others, renewable energy represents a very small slice of the array of policy areas and behaviours that have to change.

Forging ahead with massive investments in new factories to churn out renewables and EVs by the billions – in a vain hope that these devices can maintain the edifice that dense energy has created – is a mass delusion, and one that will run us into a tighter than ever corner.

11 12 2017
Jonathan Maddox

If you have a plan for fixing the attitude behind technological development, or for changing the whole array of policy areas and behaviours that have to change, please share it.

11 12 2017
Chris Harries

As I have done many times. These are the more complex, more messy, process things that everybody already knows about. Dealing with demand rather than just the supply end. And Mike has attended to in quite a lot of detail.

But buying up sparkling new equipment is the short-cut the western way that we’ve been trained to see as the only way to resolve problems.

11 12 2017
mikestasse

We don’t. Who cares…….

WHY must we have cars planes and eccentric lifestyles…?

11 12 2017
Jonathan Maddox

Achieving the same energy services with vastly less energy input is “dealing with demand”, and it is exactly what EVs and wind turbines are about. Clearly that isn’t what you’re about: you want massive social change as well, “changing the whole array of policy areas and behaviours”.

“Who cares” and “Mike has attended to in quite a lot of detail” are not answers to how you want society at large to proceed.

Opting out of fossil fuel consumption yourselves is admirable (my own consumption, while much lower than average for an Australian, is probably not as low as yours), but unless you can persuade a vast majority of people to do things your way, and to give up their aspirations for the good things that energy delivers, it changes the big social and economic picture not one whit.

Actual retirement of fossil-burning infrastructure and its progressive wholesale replacement with equipment that achieves the same or equivalent ends while using less energy overall and burning zero fossil fuels in ongoing operation *does* change the economic picture significantly. It doesn’t fix all our problems, but it improves the single largest dimension of our ecological overshoot. That’s worth a lot to me.

12 12 2017
mikestasse

We won’t need to persuade anyone…… not even you! It’s coming whether you like it or not, it;s called the ENERGY CLIFF.

12 12 2017
Chris Harries

It’s a bit like this Jonathan.

You’ve dropped the tube of toothpaste onto the floor and have accidentally stepped on it. Toothpaste has quirted out over the floor and there’s only so much left.

We both look down and both of us agree that it’s wet nigh impossible to get the toothpaste back into the tube.

But I point out to you if you take your foot off the tube then at least there will be less mess and we can start to attend to the problem and nut out what to do. For your point, you argue: “We can’t undo this problem, so what I’ll do in the meantime is apply bit less foot pressure so not quite so much toothpaste comes out.”

I stoically maintain my position as being the more sensible approach, but at the end of the day there’s actually not much difference between the two positions since the tube is almost empty and we’re going to have to face the music whichever way.

12 12 2017
Jonathan Maddox

Chris, I thought you and I agreed that the fossil fuel tube wasn’t almost empty. There are vast quantities left available to burn. We will not be forced to stop burning fossil fuels any time soon by their scarcity.

We need to stop burning fossil fuels soon because of the pollution they cause, and the climate change which is a consequence of that pollution, not because they are running out.

I understand that Mike disagrees and still thinks that peak petroleum is going to force energy austerity on everyone, suddenly and soon. I see that as magical thinking. Petroleum production will indeed peak and decline, which will result in economic and social hardship, but it will not stop either petroleum extraction itself nor the exploitation of other energy resources which will proceed apace — unless we, the great mass of the people of the planet, “riot for austerity”. I just don’t see that happening. Personally I’d rather riot for solar.

12 12 2017
Chris Harries

I think what we agreed upon, Jonathan, is that society is going to ignore the peaking of almost everything and is determined to go full steam ahead until it becomes a problem.

Climate change is absolutely an environmental limit. Peaking of resources is an economic one. I think the peaking problem will strike us harder and earlier than the climate change one and will manifest mainly as economic disruption.

Funnily most people see a problem with each of these twin problems but very few accept both of them. I’ve come across many people who deny the climate change problem and, similarly, people who deny the resource problem but almost none who deny both.

This is a curious social pathology that’s worth exploring further.

12 12 2017
mikestasse

Climate change is fast becoming an economic issue/limit…. Houston and California?

12 12 2017
mikestasse

BUT we will have to stop burning oil soon because of ERoEI and debt, and once the flow of oil is destabilised, every other form of energy will be too.

8 12 2017
sheila chambers

We are trapped in a delema of our own making. “Leave it in the ground” sounds nice & we will eventually have to leave it in the ground because we will be unable to extract it any more but that day will be a disaster for the 7.6+ BILLION humans crowding this planet. We cannot feed 7.6 billion humans without industrial agriculture & that’s going away, billions of us will have to die before we have any hope of becoming “sustainable”.
No amount of “green growth”, “sustainable growth” or any kind of growth is sustianable including the growth of FOSSIL RESOURCE DEPENDENT “RENEWABLES”.
Forget EV’s they burn more FF in their manufacture & use than ICE, same for wind turbines & solar panels, yes, they have their place but their not going to be able to ” save the planet” & neither can “going vegan” do anything but make it possible for more people to be TEMPORARILY fed, then we still collapse in chaos.
We must stop using fossil resources but the price we will have to pay will be horrible, billions will die of starvation, disease & in resource wars.

There will be BILLIONS of migrants, we cannot support them, they will have to be prevented from entry into other countries, they will be having their own problems trying to reduce the deaths of their own starving population, invaders must be rejected.

Why aren’t we RATIONING FUEL?
Why are we still wasting this precious, finite, resource on dirt blowers, bush trimmers, lawn mowers, RV’s, SUV”s, motor homes, big 4X4 trucks with empty beds, PWC, private planes, commercial planes, cruze ships, single use plastic etc? BTW, I use hand tools for yard work.
People will not stop wasting this resource until FORCED to do so & rationing is very much needed not carbon taxes that mostly hurt the poor, but RATIONING that will force even the rich to use less.
Because people will not vote against their own interests, I don’t expect to see rationing any time soon, we will continue to waste until we can’t.
We cannot prevent our collapse, it’s now way too late, we can however reduce our use of resources especially Americans who waste more than anyone else.
At least when I eat out, I bring reused plastic containers & bags for saving what I cannot eat, beats leaving it to be thrown out like most of us do.

8 12 2017
Chris Harries

Yep, Sheila, we can’t stop the looming disruption whatever we do because our civilisation has gone beyond several irreversible tipping points. But we can still soften the landing and limit the collateral harm that takes place. At present it seems that society-at-large is doing nearly everything it can to maximise that harm. Our call to activism should be along these lines, not trying to shore up a system that is beyond recovery.

11 12 2017
Jonathan Maddox

Part of what you say here (“EV’s they burn more FF in their manufacture & use than ICE, same for wind turbines & solar panels”) is simply false.

11 12 2017
mikestasse

It absolutely is NOT…….. EVs of similar size to conventional cars often weigh 50% more. Where do you think all that extra mass comes from? As a result, BTW, they also need bigger tyres and wheels, made of oil and aluminium, which is basically solidified electricity….

11 12 2017
Jonathan Maddox

Manufacturing emissions are higher, sure. Emissions in operation are much lower, making total lifetime emissions considerably lower. You must have missed the “& use” part.

9 12 2017
Danny

When Hydro Tasmania had stuffed up major, and installed diesel generators, I went there with a proposal of a 100MW solar farm, they indicated they could be interested if it was built in NSW

11 12 2017
Jonathan Maddox

This makes a little sense: the sun shines more brightly and for longer hours in NSW than in Tasmania so the commercial value of a NSW solar farm is greater (and it would also offset more CO₂ emissions, substituting directly for coal-burning).

On the other hand it doesn’t make much sense: Tasmania has no need of additional dispatchable power capacity, only supplemental electric energy to allow it to save water over the course of the year; intermittent renewable electricity from wind and solar energy is a *perfect* match for Tasmania’s large existing hydroelectric storage capacity.

11 12 2017
Chris Harries

Finally, something that we can agree on Jonathan. One thing that I’ve tried to get across to Tasmanian energy commentators is that our marginal electricity is nearly all coal-fired. If I was to buy an EV car here then ALL of the energy to run it would have to come from the mainland (or from the Tamas Valley gas fired power station) because Tasmania is not self sufficient in hydro and wind power.

On the other hand if I was to save (say) a kilowatt-hour of energy, then ALL of the saved energy is energy that doesn’t have to be imported from fossil fuels generators.

Thus it is the marginal sourcing of power (nearly all fossil fuelled) that is most relevant. Yet when calculations are made on emissions saved, instead of using marginal figures, averaged figures for the state are used, thus grossly underestimating the real advantages that are made.

As you say, any increments of renewable energy into the Tasmanian grid is valuable because there is almost limitless scope for the network of dams to easily absorb those intermittent loads i the form of water storage, especially since these days the dams are rarely full.

11 12 2017
mikestasse

ALL Tasmania has to do to be totally self sufficient in electricity is to close the Aluminium smelter which only employs 1500 people…… there is talk of putting another Bass Strait cable into service at a cost of a billion dollars….. or a cost of $667,000 per employee. It would be cheaper to just retire them all on $75,000 a year for nine years……. by which time the economy as we know it won’t even exist.

12 12 2017
Jonathan Maddox

It’s an excellent point that marginal electricity consumed in Tasmania is fossil-fuelled, due to the current relative scarcity of stored water. But it’s not all coal: Tasmania has its own gas and diesel generators (with lower emissions than coal by far) and imports of coal-fired electricity from Victoria are more-or-less offset by exports of hydroelectricity, so should not necessarily be considered marginal Tasmanian consumption.

NSW’s electricity mix is more heavily skewed towards coal than the marginal fossil capacity used to supply Tasmania. I’d like to see the solar farms and wind farms built in both states. And they will be, without a doubt … just, maybe, not soon enough. 😦

12 12 2017
Chris Harries

Not quite. In the 10 years that Basslink has operated there has been a net flow from the mainland to Tasmania. Southbound. This is very significant. We are 10 percent short of self sufficiency in hydro power. Hydro Tas doesn’t dispute this. They are very conscious of it.

Actually, I think more than 10 percent, going by the last couple of years, but there is a lag time before actual rainfall records can be certified as climate induced or just a weather anomaly, so it will take a while. The CRC reports had foreshadowed that there will be a continuing trend for lower water inflows within hydro catchments over the coming century and this seems to be bearing out.

11 12 2017
mikestasse

Solar farms don’t make a huge amount of sense in Tassie…….. BUT wind farms do, and they would produce a hell of a lot more electricity than those turbines near Broken Hill I wrote about earlier.

12 12 2017
Jonathan Maddox

I’m not sure about that. While Tasmanian wind conditions are indeed excellent, so are those at the edge of the desert: Silverton is expected to have a 44.5% capacity factor.

https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2017/feb/10/silverton-wind-farms-output-will-be-equal-to-taking-192000-cars-off-the-road

12 12 2017
Norman Pagett

some kind of controlled socialist downsized system sounds good—but there’s a problem

a controlled economy by definition must have controllers, and they will be normal human beings, and subject to the same weaknesses as the rest of us

12 12 2017
mikestasse

Wow…… is that all…? You realise that this means if you needed to reach a specific generation target, MORE than twice as many turbines as their stated generation capacity would be needed for BAU….

13 12 2017
Jonathan Maddox

If this was a reply to “Silverton is expected to have a 44.5% capacity factor”, that’s pretty high for a wind farm.

Tasmania’s existing wind farms at Woolnorth, Bluff Point and Musselroe (all excellent wind sites) have capacity factors between 35% and 40%. Newer technology on the same sites would probably get higher capacity factors, but not that much higher.

As for “you realise…”, yes I know exactly what I’m talking about thanks. Nobody who does expects wind farms to have capacity factors above 20-50 per cent, depending on age and siting. Nobody who does expects a modern economy (BAU or otherwise) to run on wind power alone. But attempting something better than mere “business as usual”, and meeting energy supply needs in tandem with hydro, an ever-dwindling rump of fossil fuelled infrastructure, and ever-increasing amounts of solar energy, emerging storage technologies, and perhaps a modest amount of bioenergy (saved for seasonal use) — why ever not?

13 12 2017
mikestasse

Which just proves how much of this stuff will be needed to keep business as usual going……

26 12 2017
Chris Harries

Nearly all of the commentaries under nearly all the articles on this website boil down to one burning issue: belief or non-belief in resource limits and, even more pertinently, economic limits.

Here is a nat summary of that conversation from a believer perspective:
http://www.resilience.org/stories/2017-12-18/limits-economic-growth-2/

26 12 2017
Jonathan Maddox

“They did not deny that techno-fixes would be available – what they were drawing attention to was that adopting them would take resources away from growing production to fixing the problems. Eventually fixing the problems would become too expensive so industrial production and food production would turn downwards. They were right. That’s exactly what is happening…”

I don’t see the problem! Don’t we want industrial production to turn downwards? It’s the source of all the pollution in the first place, after all…

26 12 2017
Jonathan Maddox

(I’d be happier if food production didn’t turn downwards until *after* population turns downwards through demographic shift. As far as I can tell, there’s no likelihood of it doing so.)

26 12 2017
Chris Harries

Like accelerating your car into a mud heap to make it stop, instead of applying the brakes to avoid the mud heap? I don’t think there’s any intent to turn down industrial production, most technological advancements have only one purpose, to further generate industrial production. But I think you are correct Jonathan – to their disappointment it’s not going to work as planned.

27 12 2017
Norman Pagett

unfortunately industrial production is what keeps everybody employed– it isn’t possible to make anything in commercially useful terms without heat input. that means factories

that keeps our commercial-industrial system running and you only have to look at what happened after 08/09 to see what happens after an industrial downturn.

that was part of the dress rehearsal for our future

3 01 2018
Metro70

I knew you wouldn’t agree with me, but I was interested to know what your rebuttal would be to various points and facts and whether you really believe in all of this….

There was much there to rebut …to prove me wrong if you could…to reasonably discuss if this blog were really about facts and truth….but it seems you’ll only tolerate those who largely agree with you as commenters on your blog…which says loud and clear that you are well aware that all that’s happening to Australia…all that you recommend and happily foreshadow and hope will come to pass …all of it’s BASED ON the most HIDEOUS…EVIL HOAX in global history.

Your intolerance of dissent is of course THE hallmark of the Left …and of the Left’s control of the CAGW hoax and its agenda for the world.

3 01 2018
mikestasse

You’re WRONG, plain and simple, and frankly, I have far more important things to do on the farm…… if you lived on the land like me, you too would know climate change is both real and severe. You want rebuttal? Start here… https://damnthematrix.wordpress.com/category/climate-change-2/

And intolerance of dissent…? Give me a break….. you mean like Trump? You’re on the wrong blog buddy.

3 01 2018
5 01 2018
Metro70

Thanks for your reply, Mike.

I want to reply re the Glikson piece but I just want to say that the person here that I agree most with is Sheila…but not with her despair…yet.

I’m the only sceptic on these pages ….I believe what the UN officials say themselves is the truth…that none of this is about climate or the environment…it’s about global wealth redistribution…as per the UN official’s quote[ and there are others] in my earlier reply that didn’t appear.

So I’ll never be willing to sacrifice Australia on that altar for an ideology that I abhor.

Only free and prosperous countries will ever do the research required …including medical research …to keep the environment in as pristine shape as possible…and only fossil fuel … at present….can safely power that wealth.

So what I’m for is the continued use of coal burned as cleanly as possible.
It’s massively in Australia’s interests to pour most of its research effort into developing a clean-burning process…..and if necessary a carbon capture and CONVERSION…not sequestration…process.

It’s not correct to think of wind and solar as clean and virtuous renewables…when as of now none of them…product or infrastructure…are manufactured without massive input of fossil fuel…as almost nothing in the world is.

The whole world runs on fossil fuel assisted by some nuclear and river hydro…with only vanishing amounts of input from wind and solar …after trillions spent and much upheaval.

And yet…as I said in my comment that didn’t appear…..Australia is being forced to commit economic and social suicide for a hoax that IPCC officials themselves have spelt out.

So I’m for Australia to assert itself…declare we’ll make it our mission to research and develop a coal-burning process…for mining and transport of it too…that has only a fraction of today’s CO2 emissions.

But we must declare that Australia …the cleanest…most people-friendly decent place on earth IMO…will NOT sacrifice itself and its people for a hoax devised by the rancidly-hypocritical poobahs of international conference-hopping [ in thousands of private planes]…and the despots and dictators of the dysfunctional UN.

So we should put an end to the rush to 50-100% ‘renewables’ and turn our attention to complete renovation of our education system at all levels and of our hitherto revered institutions like CSIRO and our corrupted universities.

Only a wealthy ..energy-secure country… will invest in research for a real eventual replacement for fossil fuel… maybe nuclear fusion .

If we use wind/solar….it should be in low penetration of the NEM …because the high penetration envisaged damages synchronous plant and the grid…is already doing so…and it should be firmed and completely dispatchable and subject to penalty if unavailable as scheduled.

We should continue to export coal and gas as well as clean-burning processes that are hopefully developed.

It’s the only way to have an energy system and economy that’s sustainable according to EROEI….unless you have nuclear or massive run-of-river hydro…which we don’t of course.

The track we’re on now is to total ruin IMO…no account taken of EROEI…towards an atomised subsidy-driven weather-dependent unreliable system…energy insecurity after billions wasted for the LOOK of ‘saving the planet’.

5 01 2018
mikestasse

I’m afraid you have ZERO UNDERSTANDING of what’s going on…….. I get so tired and frustrated of dealing with people like you, it’s driving me insane…. you CANNOT have pristine environment AND fossil fuels. Fossil fuels is what’s completely wrecking the planet, and I’m not even talking about climate change. Climate change, or any attempts at switching to renewables, are not wrecking the wealth or the economy or anything else….. the very economy itself is doing a nice job of that all of its own accord…. the economy has no future, because we are fast approaching PEAK EVERYTHING.

Clean coal…? You MUST be joking.

The track we are on now is NOT total ruin…… it’s going back to being humans. A less complicated future is what we must have, the current system is driving people to drug use, suicides, mass murders, mass depression, it’s really really bad for us, and I want nothing to do with it, I actually look forward to your version of life disappearing altogether.

BTW, in your first missive which I dispatched as complete nonsense, you called me a leftie….. it’s high time everyone realised there is no left. Reagan and Thatcher killed the left by making everyone think they could aspire to being wealthy like the 1%, and we’ve been destroying the planet ever since trying. I’m a new breed who holds both the left and right in utter contempt. Stick your wealth where the sun don’t shine, I could not be less interested…..

And if you read enough on this blog, you will discover most of us don’t believe in renewables either.

We need a low energy future before all that energy, in our greedy hands, destroys the only spaceship we have to live on. Now go away.

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