Weekly salon 25/5

The sun came up on Sunday morning after the election, and has continued to do so ever since. So perhaps there was not a fundamental tear in basic fabric of reality as seemed to be the case on Saturday the night. So how is the rest of the world getting along?

1. Why smart people do stupid things?

That seemed an apt question to ask on Sunday 19 May 2019, when many, many smart voters had just voted against their own best interests. ABC RN’s Lynne Malcolm interviewed David Robson, author of The Intelligence Trap: Why smart people do stupid things and how to make wiser decisions which tells us how very clever people went ridiculously wrong, as well as giving readers a tool kit so that “we will benefit from wielding our minds with insight, precision, social sensitivity and humility.”

Perhaps all candidates for election should learn and be tested on this tool kit before being deemed eligible to stand.

We are told that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, inventor of the supremely logical character Sherlock Holmes and medical doctor, was hopeless. He was inclined to believe in fairies, and easily duped. His friend Harry Houdini tried to knock some sense into him, but Sir Arthur returned the favour by writing an article saying Houdini was in fact a paranormal being himself, who was trying to cover up the existence of magic in the world so he could keep that a secret.

Then there was the brilliant US biologist and chemist Kary Mullis who shared the 1993 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, but believed in astrology, UFOs and alien abductions. He was also a prominent AIDS denialist, completely denying the link between the HIV virus and AIDS.

The following researched fact could improve all public policy decision-making:

    researchers have found … that the collective intelligence of groups of mostly women is much higher than the collective intelligence of groups with more men in or with, say, a 50-50 split. And it seems to be because of this cultural attitude that some men have that they will dominate the conversation in that way, and it actually just reduces the performance of everyone around them.

A compromise may be that you can have men in the group, but not in numbers, and they should only speak when spoken to by women, who are seen as the real deal.

Robson’s website is here, and blog here.

2. Theresa May to exit over Brexit

Theresa May has finally given up and resigned, effective from 7 June, with her successor to be chosen by the end of July, in time to achieve a Brexit plan by the immovable deadline of 31 October.

Nicholas Allen tells how it all went wrong.

Her achievements including calling an election in which she lost her majority but clung to power, faced down an internal party vote of no confidence, won a parliamentary vote of no confidence and lost 36 ministers while failing multiple times to get a Brexit plan approved by parliament.

She has established that most want a negotiated exit, but no actual plan has achieved a parliamentary majority. Her first was rejected by a stunning margin of 230 votes — the largest defeat for a prime minister in modern British history. The country itself is hopelessly divided.

British Steel has now collapsed, putting more than 4,000 jobs directly at risk and threatening a further 20,000 in the company’s supply chain:

    Insolvency experts labelled British Steel’s demise as the “first heavyweight casualty of Brexit” and warned of a “tsunami effect” that would result in taxpayers footing a significant bill.

3. Julian Assange was right to be afraid of US courts

Julian Assange now faces 17 new charges in the US, which could spell decades behind bars if extradited.

I collected enough material to do a post, but probably won’t. The best single account is probably Julian Assange – victim or villain?

Yanis Varoufakis has been a friend of Assange and has visited him many times in the Ecuadorian Embassy, where he was holed up for nearly seven years. He says that Assange understood that he needed to answer for what he did in Sweden. It’s just that the Swedish justice system has been a revolving door for extradition to the US. Varoufakis is concerned, not just about the implications for journalists, but also about the reach of the American justice system outside its borders.

There was also an extended account of how Assange got into the mess he found himself in by Rodney Tiffin – Imperfect storm – written in 2011.

I’m not a fan of Assange, either in his personal behaviour or his ‘professional’ mission. However, there is a problem about how America uses its power in its assumed role of leader of the ‘free’ world.

My understanding is that Assange was neither a journalist, nor a publisher, just a drop box where publishers could pick up stuff and use at their discretion. Nothing essentially evil about that, except the source was supposed to be confidential and blind to the publishers, which is not how you do good journalism.

However, he was clearly irresponsible, to say the least, in his interactions with women.

4. Youth disaffection with politics and everything

People aged 17-36 now make up 40% the Australian workforce. Those aged 17-25 are called ‘Gen Z’ while those aged 25-36 are the ‘Millenials’. Deloitte have done a world survey, reported here on Radio National, there’s more here, and here.

Climate change is their single biggest concern of both groups.

Only 37% have confidence in the economy, but only 19% in Australia.

    Only 26 percent of global respondents expect the economic situation in their countries to improve in the coming year. That figure has never been lower than 40 percent since Deloitte started the survey eight years ago.

    Economic optimism is even worse at home. Only 19 percent of Australian millennials and 20 percent of Gen Zs think the economic outlook will improve. This is down from 2018, when 34 percent of Australian millennials believed the economic situation would improve.

    Both generations’ outlook on leadership is also pessimistic. Political and religious leaders are among the least trusted sources of reliable and accurate information within Australia (11 and 13 percent respectively). Whereas leaders of NGOs and not-for-profit organisations are among the most trusted sources (25 percent).

I’ll leave it to you to contemplate how we got to where we are. On election day the young man at the local convenience store, ethnically Indian with an accent, asked me on election day whether tomorrow would be a brand new day or more of the same. I told him what I hoped for, and he seemed pleased with that.

Who can blame the young for being disaffected.

Sorry, I wanted to stay away from politics.

5. Trump appeals ruling allowing banks to hand his financial records to Congress

That link was to Reuters:

    U.S. President Donald Trump, three of his children and the Trump Organization on Friday appealed a court order allowing Deutsche Bank AG and Capital One Financial Corp to hand their financial records over to Democratic lawmakers.

    They are asking the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan to overrule U.S. District Judge Edgardo Ramos, who on Wednesday refused to block the banks from responding to subpoenas issued last month by two U.S. House of Representatives committees.

    “We remain committed to providing appropriate information to all authorized investigations and will abide by a court order regarding such investigations,” Deutsche Bank spokeswoman Kerrie McHugh said in an emailed statement.

Andrew Romano told Sarah Macdonald on ABC Nightlife the story in brief. Trump’s financial records to 1998 are available to 1998, showing he lost record amounts of money. Then he got a significant loan from Deutsche Bank. The loan went bad, but DB was persuaded to double down on it and lend him more. The total amounts are in the order of $2 billion. DB has suffered real and reputational damage.

Romano did not say so, but others have said that Trump has benefitted from a relationship with at least one Russian oligarch. I’d say, watch this space.

6. Taiwan LGBT activists thank Australia for helping make same-sex marriage legal

    Taiwan became the first place in Asia to legalise same-sex marriage last Friday after a long-awaited bill passed 66 to 27 in the self-ruling island’s constitutional court, granting same-sex couples some of the same rights available to heterosexual married couples.

    Jennifer Lu, chief coordinator of Marriage Equality Coalition Taiwan, told the ABC that Australian Yes campaigners significantly strengthened the island’s fight for marriage equality.

    The coalition’s social media campaign “What Love Has Taught Us” was modelled on Australia’s Yes campaign, which promoted videos of personal life stories from Australia’s LGBT community.

137 thoughts on “Weekly salon 25/5”

  1. In every election some voters vote “against their own best interests”.

    Therein, deep down is a nugget that needs further thinking. A flaw of democracy?

    I may be a cock-eyed optimist, and too heavily supportive of representative democracy, but I still believe that the person best able to decide her own best interests is the voter herself.

    K. Marx said many workers suffered from “false consciousness”. When he said it, he set a train of opinion going, which can lead to blinkered error (IMO).

  2. Ambi:

    In every election some voters vote “against their own best interests”.

    In some cases this may be the result of ignorance and the golden tongue of some politicians.
    However, many of us understand that we are not voting in our own self interest but vote the way we do because we are more concerned about what is happening to people who are worse off than we are, what is happening to younger people, long term environmental issues, democracy etc.

  3. Brian: One of the responses to both Labors capital gains tax policy and SMF credits was to talk about “grandfathering”.
    Grandfathering is code for retaining benefits of the elderly while denying these benefits to younger people.
    Think about the benefits you and I have enjoyed over our lifetimes that are no longer available to younger people.
    No wonder the young are pissed off just as we were over the Vietnam war.

  4. It’s a pretty arrogant position to take to assume one knows the “ best interests “ of folk they’ve never even met.

    Yet we all do it.

    Perhaps “… many, many smart voters had just voted against their own best interests. “ as a personal sacrifice for the tribal good ( as they individually see it )

    In any event it’s quite natural for folk that unexpectedly find that the majority disagreed with them to lash out rather than self reflect.

  5. Cross posted John, well said.

    Particularly

    Think about the benefits you and I have enjoyed over our lifetimes that are no longer available to younger people.

    In so, so many ways.

  6. It’s a pretty arrogant position to take to assume one knows the “ best interests “ of folk they’ve never even met.

    Not necessarily. For instance I know that cleaning up their water supply is in the best interests of the people living in Flint Michigan. No arrogance involved at all.

  7. What Obama and the media lapdogs ( D ) did to Assange was terrible.
    I’m thinking Trump will pardon him and be criticised by those same people.

  8. Jumpy: Thanks for the agreement. However:

    It’s a pretty arrogant position to take to assume one knows the “ best interests “ of folk they’ve never even met.

    I would be confident that almost everyone struggling on the pension would welcome more money, health care for the aged etc. I would be less confident that more affluent people would welcome more money if they knew it was being funded by reductions in the money spent on pensioners. But I do understand that there as some wealthy people are greedy.
    When it comes to what to do about struggling Aborigines I know enough to know that it is very hard to tell what they really want because their culture is just so foreign to us.

  9. Brian: Interesting defence of the Adani convoy.
    The article argues that “It wasn’t Bob Brown who lost the election, it was the Labor Party
    It is worth noting that there was never any hint of Labor involvement in the Adani convoy and it is also worth noting that the Greens vote went up in Qld not down like Labor with its ambivalent stand on Adani which tried to pleas everyone and ended up pleasing no-one. More to the point the Greens had their Qld senator returned, a result that would not have happened if the Greens had not been able to increase their vote. An important result because it will make it easier to block lousy legislation.
    Apologies would be appreciated.

  10. Worth reading this wide ranging Renew economy article that talks about BHP moving away from thermal coal and positioning itself to benefit from the move to renewables.
    The article also points out that

    But with Australia’s two largest resources companies moving away from the business of thermal coal, and news that a mine neighbouring that of the Adani Carmichael mine looks to be falling over, Palaszczuk may find it difficult to deliver new jobs to regional Queensland without a plan that extends beyond coal.

  11. I’m thinking Trump will pardon him

    Really? It’s the Trump administration which has come up with 17 new counts of espionage against Assange. It’s the Trump administration which is currently trying to extradite him.

    But Trump is undeniably flaky – you may be right.

  12. John, did I say that Bob Brown lost the election for Labor? If I did I apologise.

    The reasons were legion. I think the biggest factor was that Labor chose the wrong leader in 2013. Second biggest was the incompetence of Noah Carroll in running the Labor campaign, The knives were out for him and deservedly so according to the 4-part summary of the campaign by Pamela Williams in the AFR.

    In Qld Labor lost two seats. Herbert in Townsville was never defendable. In 2016 Labor got with 30.5% of the primary vote and won in the end on ON preferences.

    The other was Longman, which was won in a by-election on a narrow margin, when the LNP was a bit of a dud, and it was possibly the one seat where franking credits which morphed into a ‘retiree tax’ had some effect.

    The Greens vote went backwards in NSW, Victoria (where the Labor vote went up), in Tasmania and WA, and slightly overall. I think that needs some reflection.

    My bottom line is that ScoMo had one big weakness, it was climate change. Labor and the Greens failed to attack him fully on that issue. The focus was diverted somewhat by Adani and coal mining, when the international standard is that those who burn the coal take responsibility for the emissions.

    I think there were 151 contests and in each case about 100,000 stories. Generalisations are difficult.

  13. I’m unsure just how big a deal Adani was unless it was code for environment. In any event it looks like the Queensland government is poised to green light the project, despite a lack of the rail plan (with Aurizon), an incomplete or flawed groundwater assessment, unclear provisions to preserve the black throated finch, and unresolved issues with traditional owners, the Wangan and Jagalingou peoples.

    Then we see that the proposed very large coal mine, China Stone has been mothballed or placed on indefinite hold. Actually the project was officially abandoned in March 2019. China Stone is approximately 30 Km from Carmichael and would have used Adani’s rail link to Abbot Point or at least the original rail plan Adani proposed. It’s possible that the revised narrow gauge rail line would not have sufficient capacity to carry the full output of China Stone. Or, the absence of financial viability was acknowledged and the project ceased.
    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-05-23/macmines-abandons-mining-lease-applications/11138310

    The rail line has always been a separate entity to the mine albeit owned by Adani in either Singapore or Cayman tax havens. As such it could generate revenues from coal haulage irrespective of where the coal was mined (and even if Carmichael never opened) and profits would be moved away from Australian tax. The loss of China Stone coal is not the end because there are other potential mines in the Basin including Gina Reinhardt and Clive Palmer. Since the LNP ministers responsible are Canavan and Taylor, it may be the plan to reward Palmer for his apparent aid to the LNP by allowing him to develop his coal interests, and maybe there is a place there for Gina too. Nor can we rule out the possibility of a new coal fuelled power station, one that Canavan and Angus Taylor still support.

  14. Geoff Henderson (Re: MAY 27, 2019 AT 9:20 AM)

    Nor can we rule out the possibility of a new coal fuelled power station, one that Canavan and Angus Taylor still support.

    It couldn’t be built before Liddell closes in 2022.
    The power from it would be more expensive than renewables.
    Many banks and insurance companies won’t support new coal-fired power plants.
    And it doesn’t help with reducing emissions.

    Meanwhile, Britain is phasing out coal.

  15. Brian:

    The focus was diverted somewhat by Adani and coal mining, when the international standard is that those who burn the coal take responsibility for the emissions.

    Agree that shrinking the market for fossil fuels is potentially more effective than shrinking the supply. Coal fired power is getting less and less competitive.

  16. Geoff M you are right, but the build time for a new coal-fired plant is three years, maybe four, bringing it very close to 2020.

    LNP still refers to “clean coal” and holds out for HELE plants as the answer to coal based emissions. But HELE relies on CCS which does not exist in a viable form. The most intense shot at CCS was by the Southern Company in Kemper County, Missouri. After investing some US$7.5 billion, the company called it quits in June 2017 without succeeding to overcome the issues with CCS.

  17. Geoff Henderson (Re: MAY 27, 2019 AT 12:15 PM)

    Geoff M you are right, but the build time for a new coal-fired plant is three years, maybe four, bringing it very close to 2020.

    Geoff H, where do you get those build times from?

    From a RenewEconomy article posted on 24 Oct 2017, headlined Graphs of the Day: Wind fast, solar faster, batteries fastest, is this graph.

    Coal low: 6 years + fuel resource development
    Coal high: 9 years + fuel resource development

    Or this RenewEconomy article posted on 31 Oct 2017 headlined Five reasons not to build new coal power plant in Queensland, that includes (bold text my emphasis):

    2. It will take too long

    As well as being more expensive, it takes a lot longer to build a new coal-fired power plant than it does to build large-scale solar and/or wind farms with battery storage. According to the below table, it will take upwards of six years to build a new coal or gas power station in Queensland, in which time a massive pipeline of large-scale renewable energy projects are expected to be built, while battery storage costs continue to decline.

    This not only means a long wait for new coal-fired power generating capacity, but a much higher chance of new fossil fuel plant winding up as stranded assets by the time they are finished, because better, cheaper technology has taken its place.

    Or News.com.au article by Malcom Farr posted 4 Apr 2018, headlined Treasurer blasts supporters of new coal-fired power station, says it would double power bills, which includes (bold text my emphasis):

    The group had not taken into account “an economic fact”, Mr Morrison told a conference organised by the Australian Financial Review, pointing to a key “difference between old coal and new coal”.

    “Old coal bids into the energy grid at around about $30 per megawatt hour wholesale up to $40. It can be lower than that,” he said.

    A new HELE plant, five, six or seven years down the track it is estimated it would be bidding at around $70 or $80.

    “So it is false to think that a new coal-fired power station will generate electricity at the same price as old coal-fired power stations for the obvious reason that the asset has already been written off.

    “So you don’t just open up one down the road and all of a sudden it is producing power at the same price as Bayswater or any of the others.”

  18. Geoff M perhaps four years is optimistic but fact is it is a long way off being built even if there is a commission to build right now. In addition to the build time there will be squabbles over the design, siting, environmental safeguards and supporting infrastructure.
    Do you know if any costings include decommissioning and clean up costs?

  19. Geoff Henderson (Re: MAY 27, 2019 AT 1:52 PM)

    Do you know if any costings include decommissioning and clean up costs?

    Per Wikipedia on Cost of electricity by source, for the levelized cost of energy (LCOE). under the heading Additional cost factors (bold text my emphasis):

    Calculations often do not include wider system costs associated with each type of plant, such as long distance transmission connections to grids, or balancing and reserve costs. Calculations do not include externalities such as health damage by coal plants, nor the effect of CO2 emissions on the climate change, ocean acidification and eutrophication, ocean current shifts. Decommissioning costs of power plants are usually not included (nuclear power plants in the United States is an exception, because the cost of decommissioning is included in the price of electricity per the Nuclear Waste Policy Act), is therefore not full cost accounting. These types of items can be explicitly added as necessary depending on the purpose of the calculation. It has little relation to actual price of power, but assists policy makers and others to guide discussions and decision making.

  20. Yet

    Capital costs (including waste disposal and decommissioning costs for nuclear energy) – tend to be low for fossil fuel power stations; high for wind turbines, solar PV (photovoltaics); very high for waste to energy, wave and tidal, solar thermal, and nuclear.

    Same source.

  21. Jumpy (Re: MAY 27, 2019 AT 5:53 PM)

    And immediately below your referenced statement is this:

    Fuel costs – high for fossil fuel and biomass sources, low for nuclear, and zero for many renewables. Fuel costs can vary somewhat unpredictably over the life of the generating equipment, due to political and other factors.

    The unpredictability of fuel costs (and possibly availability) over the operational life of the system is more risky for fossil fuel and biomass electricity generation technologies.

    The same reference also defines Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE) (bold text my emphasis):

    The levelized cost of electricity (LCOE), also known as Levelized Energy Cost (LEC), is the net present value of the unit-cost of electrical energy over the lifetime of a generating asset. It is often taken as a proxy for the average price that the generating asset must receive in a market to break even over its lifetime. It is a first-order economic assessment of the cost competitiveness of an electricity-generating system that incorporates all costs over its lifetime: initial investment, operations and maintenance, cost of fuel, cost of capital.

    LCOE attempts to standardize the comparative whole-of-life costs across technologies, rather than just the up-front costs (that your comment above appears to be just focused on).

  22. Perhaps if all taxes and subsidies were removed we may get a clearer picture.

    Realistically most folk would opt for what they individually value most.

  23. Jumpy (Re: MAY 27, 2019 AT 8:28 PM)

    Perhaps if all taxes and subsidies were removed we may get a clearer picture.

    That’s what Lazard’s Levelized Cost of Energy of Energy Analysis – v12 does do in their analysis. Do you think no one has thought of that before?

    Realistically most folk would opt for what they individually value most.

    Renewables are cheaper, faster to deploy, reliable (with adequate energy storage and robust interconnectors), safer, cleaner. It’s ill-informed ideology and misinformation getting in the way of more affordable, reliable energy and minimizing the risk of humanity’s extinction.

  24. GM: I had a peripheral role in the Kogan Creek power station. Your figures for power station construction seem a bit long. Wikapedia had this to say about Kogan Creek:

    Kogan Creek consists of only one boiler-turbine-generator unit. At 750 MW, it is the largest single unit in Australia. Construction by a consortium led by Siemens commenced in 2004 and was completed in 2007.

    Quoted resource development times seemed a bit high by the standards I was used to. In addition, it would be rather dumb not to do the resource development in parallel with power station construction.

  25. Mike Seccombe has an excellent article on Adani in The Saturday Paper, republished at Lethal Heating. Adani’s share price in India jumped 30% when Morrison won the Australian election. Adani and Modi are as thick a thieves:

    Adani already is India’s largest private producer of thermal power, in substantial part because of the relationship the conglomerate has with the government. It continues to grow rapidly towards a goal of 20,000 megawatts of power-generating capacity by 2020.

    “Last month, Modi gave Adani a $US1.5 billion loan from the State Bank of India to fund a coal plant at a place called Godda, in the eastern provinces,” says Buckley. “And he’s been given a $1 billion tax concession, through the establishment of a free-trade zone around the power plant.

    “The new project will use imported coal and export power to Bangladesh. Seven million tonnes a year, which they could source from Carmichael.”

    I don’t quite agree with everything he says. During the election period Shorten had a consistent line on Adani. However, it is true that all the Labor candidates in the Adani-affected seats – Herbert, Dawson, Capricornia and Flynn – openly supported the mine.

    Carmichael as such is no longer a monster mine, I think 10 million tonnes pa, but if you add in the rest, it’s big.

  26. John Davidson (Re: MAY 27, 2019 AT 10:07 PM)

    Your figures for power station construction seem a bit long.

    I note the example you quote for Kogan Creek Power Station is a single 750 MW supercritical air-cooled generator unit – for construction only. What about engineering and procurement?

    If you look at Eraring Power Station, construction began in 1977, with the first generator brought online in 1982 (around 5 years), with the second & third in 1983 (around 6 years), and the fourth in 1984 (around 7 years). Eraring originally was built with four 660 MW sub-critical water-cooled generator units, that were later upgraded to four 720 MW units between 2011 & 2012. (Wikipedia – Eraring Power Station)

    For Mt Piper Power Station, (a twin water-cooled generator unit facility) I’m having difficulty finding the start date of construction, but the first generator unit was brought online in 1992, and the second in 1993.

    It seems to me that single generator unit power stations will take less time to build – multiple generator unit power stations will take longer to complete – IMO, nothing surprising there. It also seems to me that air-cooled generator units are quicker to build, compared with water-cooled units.

    My point is, I’ve referred to multiple sources saying similar things – are you suggesting they are all wrong? I’d be reluctant to declare this chart is wrong without compelling contradictory data. I note the lead time (engineering, procurement and construction) figures are for a nominal 300 MW project for the indicated generator technologies.

    In addition, it would be rather dumb not to do the resource development in parallel with power station construction.

    Indeed, it would.

    I’ve had some experience monitoring the progress of the ‘greenfield’ Bylong Coal Project proposal development process. It surprises me how long this process has taken. The final (Determination) approval process is currently with the Independent Planning Commission NSW (IPCN). The proposal was referred to the IPCN on 4 Oct 2018 and so far a decision has not been made. And this is the tail-end of a multi-staged, multi-year approval process.

    Look at how long the Adani Carmichael coal mine proposal has taken so far.

  27. Hi GM

    I know nothing.

    But I have a suggestion which might reconcile your observations and data with John’s example.

    Suppose, if you will, that some projects are carried out with alacrity and a sense of urgency. Suppose that others either

    i) always were going to have a long lead time, because of local factors, such as difficult geology or long supply lines, etc or

    ii) the corporation or consortium was actually prepared to wait a few years for better prices, down the track, etc.

    If this is an outline of what can occur in practice, there will be a range of development times from first sod-turning to first consistent output.

    But as I understood it, you were talking about the minimum time required in Australia, rather than the typical time observed in recent Australian decades.

    These two figures represent different measures.
    Could my suggestion explain, or go some way towards explaining, the basis of your difference with John?

    (I don’t consider either you or John to be peddling inaccuracies.)

    Ambig. , Dip Id Goss, Cert Four Imp.,
    Institute of Meandering Speculation
    [Queen Victoria’s Realm]

  28. Brian (Re: MAY 28, 2019 AT 12:04 AM)

    Carmichael as such is no longer a monster mine, I think 10 million tonnes pa, but if you add in the rest, it’s big.

    Are you sure about that, Brian?

    The usual process with coal mine proponents is to get approval for whatever they can push through (even if they have to start small), then after approval, expand the project with modifications to the approval over time. Most opposition occurs with new projects. Once the project is established there’s usually less opposition to expansion.

    Adani Carmichael environmental approvals are based on the 60 Mt/y production rate. (sorry, I saw it somewhere a few days ago but I’m unable to recall how to relocate the reference).

    The apparently self-funded finance available is just for the 10 Mt/y project for the ‘greenfield’ project. Once the project becomes operational and shows an operational outcome, the risks for financiers to fund an expansion are less than for a ‘greenfield’ project.

  29. GM: My experience in mining and construction started in 1972. That was the good old days when design drawings were done by a draftsman aided by an enhanced tee square, high tech was electric powered erasers and calculations were done using desk calculators or slide rules.
    All I can say is that design and construction have advanced radically since then and the time taken has been reduced significantly. 1977 construction times for Eraring could be quite misleading as a basis for construction times for a power station being built 42 years later, particularly if we are talking about a clone of an already built power station being pushed hard through the approval process.
    What Senior Sage Ambi says is relevant even though he does come from Victoria and doesn’t realize that all coal is not brown.

  30. Ambigulous (Re: MAY 28, 2019 AT 10:40 AM)

    But I have a suggestion which might reconcile your observations and data with John’s example.

    Did you miss this in my comment above? Specifically (bold text my emphasis):

    I note the example you quote for Kogan Creek Power Station is a single 750 MW supercritical air-cooled generator unit – for construction only. What about engineering and procurement?

    Ambi, do you think construction happens without any engineering and procurement? Do you think engineering and procurement times are insignificant for projects of this nature?

    Did you miss this? Specifically:

    I’d be reluctant to declare this chart is wrong without compelling contradictory data. I note the lead time (engineering, procurement and construction) figures are for a nominal 300 MW project for the indicated generator technologies.

    I would suggest that’s where the discrepancy is – engineering, procurement and construction – they all have to happen to get a completed and successful project. I would have thought John D should be able to appreciate that construction is only part of the project building process.

  31. Very interesting discussion gentlemen. I am from the Ambi camp and me know nothing too. Just a thought on combining the two parallel discussion on Adani mine destiny and domestic energy production competitiveness and security.

    Wouldn’t Adani mine’s destiny largely, independent from domestic politics here, depend on competitive pricing and energy security considerations. I mean, never mind how close buddy Modi and Adani are, in the end $s have to stack up and the show must go on. How does the Indian situation compare to ours for example, are the economic, regulatory and project implementation constraint on those issues comparable?

    I heard repeatedly the argument being made that international coal prices do not matter as Adani is fully vertically integrated from mining to energy distribution. I still can’t see how that makes economic sense?

  32. Clarification: I am an apprentice Sage.
    In Victoria, very few aspirants make it to senior.

    Geoff M: I did see your other paragraphs and I’m not clear how they make my suggestion irrelevant. But I could be mistaken. Of course.

    I doubt that John would be unaware of the details and background of how major projects work.

  33. Ootz (Re: MAY 28, 2019 AT 11:54 AM)

    I heard repeatedly the argument being made that international coal prices do not matter as Adani is fully vertically integrated from mining to energy distribution. I still can’t see how that makes economic sense?

    Indeed, it doesn’t make economic sense. See IEEFA update: Renewable energy could be Australia’s next big export industry, by Tim Buckley, dated May 23. It includes:

    There are three immediate reasons why the Adani thermal coal mine should not go ahead: first, this tax haven-owned thermal coal mine will provide less than 1,000 jobs locally; second, it will generate no royalties to the Queensland government for seven years; and third, it is unable to attract partner investment or insurance anywhere in the world due to forecasts predicting the technological obsolescence of thermal coal.

    If it costs more to produce energy than the price received for that energy produced, then that can’t be sustainable for long. Investors aren’t willing to sustain losses forever. Although, that’s what’s apparently happening with US shale oil and gas investments so far, but there are signs that this won’t be tolerated for much longer.

  34. So it may be, that despite all the campaigning, the protest convoys, the demonstrations in Southerly States; the environmental approvals and royalty holidays, public notices from Big Clive, in the end

    it could be

    ** basic dollars and cents **

    that sink the project.

    Perhaps it was never really a “project” in the sense that there were sincere plans and intentions to mine and export that mysterious and strangely coloured (black, did you say??) fossil rock?

    Ponzi? Tax lurk? Sham?
    It wouldn’t be the first time a group of Aussie battlers had been misled, sad to say…..

    I believe Prof Quiggin has long surmised along similar lines, with doubts aplenty. But he’s an economist. What would he know?

    Ambi, Dip Id Goss., Cert Four in Impudence

  35. What Countries are “ doing their part “ ?

    What are the multitude of metrics we set to add up to achieve a score for ranking ?

    What other than zero emissions would constitute “ doing their part “ ?

    Why doesn’t Quiggin run for the ALP ?

    What electorate does he live in ?

    Sooo many questions……..

  36. ( I realise fully that the first 3 questions are like to be ignored totally so I threw in the bonus last 2 )

  37. Yes Ambi, Prof Quiggins has long advanced that the Adani mine is not economically viable. He has suggested that Carmichael exists to buttress Adani’s balance sheet. The removal of a $1.3 billion asset from the Adani balance sheet would alarm Adani’s creditors Quiggins believes.

    Interesting to read today that Palmer wants to build a large HELE power plant in the Basin. He has already claimed responsibility for the LNP victory and is perhaps, with indecent haste, claiming his political prize.
    It continues to erk me that the term HELE is used to support coal burning. HELE means high efficiency (when burnt, the coal delivers the best possible amount of heat), and low emissions means very advanced carbon capture, an admirable goal that has continued to elude science without a significant cost penalty. HELE is bullshit, “clean coal” does not exist and the Basin coal is a long way short of being premium coal, delivering diminished heat value and high ash residues.

  38. What Countries are “ doing their part “ ? etc ad nauseum

    Looks like Jumpy is still in denial about our looming climate crisis.

  39. Jumpy I can’t tell if you are being provocative or mischievous or what. But whatever the argument of the day, the bigger picture is about where homo sapiens are leading the worth of the world for our descendants. Nor does it matter that our percentages are low (or high per capita) than elsewhere in the world. What counts is that we rein in our penchant for stuffing the world for our descendants. You’ll hopefully agree with that.

    A committed strategy to reduce emissions will require change and true enough, those changes will be uncomfortable. But the main goal is to fix the big problem (for future generations). Of course the people the most uncomfortable need to be helped, but that is the secondary requirement.

    Jumpy I never criticise you in this forum, even when I disagree with your logic, even when others are offering robust argument. Please forgive me then when I say that your argument/questions posed earlier are trite and unworthy of your independent intellect and resilience.

  40. Wow, what sort cognitive disorder derives that conclusion from that misquote ?

    I have so much empathy for those sufferers.
    So sad.

  41. That last of my is not to GH but rather a troubled chap that needs help.

    GH

    It will all come down to what individuals value as they see it at the moment.

    I had an idea that would, in 5 years, make fossil fuels redundant but no one wanted to hear it leave alone rebut it.

    Geoff Henderson you have indeed been a true gentleman and shown nothing but integrity and thought.

    Perhaps except that last sentence.
    Real World questions that matter I’d say, genuinely asked.

  42. Jumpy: “It will all come down to what individuals value as they see it at the moment.”
    OK but you imply a choice exists at this time. If it exists, that choice is receding and will soon not exist. The privilege of our obstinate and ignorant times will soon evapourate, leaving us with hard options and fewer options for “soft” actions. You have to see this for survival, it is axiomatic.
    OK if you are not ready for that, consider those of your family that will continue beyond our lives? What is the legacy?

  43. I had an idea that would, in 5 years, make fossil fuels redundant but no one wanted to hear it leave alone rebut it.

    No, you pre-emptively (and with much self-pity) decided no-one wanted to hear it. HTFU princess and share your idea with us.
    Better still present it to Angus Taylor.

  44. Prepare yourself and future generations Mate because it’ll hammer us as sure as eggs if the left continued to reject everything they didn’t come up with.
    Climatically, Socially, Economically, Environmentally,Politically …

    Just as bad as when the right do it.

  45. GM:

    I would suggest that’s where the discrepancy is – engineering, procurement and construction – they all have to happen to get a completed and successful project. I would have thought John D should be able to appreciate that construction is only part of the project building process.

    John D has been significantly involved in a number of mineral processing projects from tender to final commissioning and does have some understanding of engineering and procurement issues. However, he has never had much to do with coal fired generators.
    My take is if someone wanted a power station in a hurry would purchase something close to a clone as a package. Given the decline in the coal fired power station building industry I would expect procurement would be a doddle compared with boom times in the past.
    The bottom line though is that building a coal fired power station in Australia doesn’t make sense no matter how fast you can build it.

  46. zoot, is Angus Taylor calling out for new energy ideas?

    If he were to hire Mr J, our interlocutor might have to cease posting here……. You know, confidentiality, government employee; Ministerial adviser etc.

    Our loss, but the planet’s gain.

  47. Ambi I think even a dumbo like Angus Taylor couldn’t ignore a foolproof scheme for doing away with fossil fuels within five years. Unfortunately our interlocutor seems determined to take it with him to the grave.
    Our loss and our species’ disappearance, but worth it to protect Mr J’s delicate feelings.

  48. Look at who managed to become the topic again. As I keep mentioning, you can’t have a debate with a freewheeling sociopath, cleverly derailing any decent discussion on here. I have seen the same deflections, strawman and circular arguments, baiting, retreating sulking into a corner etc etc for nearly a decade by now by this character. You will not get anywhere with this. It ends up always about him and only him, can we please go back to the topic again and ignore this time wasting and energy draining apparation.

    Prof JQ is a reliable analyst particularly with energy for a long time. For example he foresaw the problems with privatization of the electricity sector twenty or so years ago. He has plenty of runs on the board and here his is on flogging the dead coal horse.

    Further, it stands to reason that running a plant ‘supercritical’ and low in emission increases production costs. You’ll need very exotic materials and intricate designs, very low tolerances and high interval maintenance to run these supercritical units and that comes at a price. Even Morrison as treasurer argued for AGL to sell Liddell to Alinta for it was cheaper to run old coal (after expensive overhaul) than building new coal power station. As for CCS, it is like inventing the ultimate perpetuum mobile or akin the alchemists dream of yesteryear of converting lead into gold.

  49. OK Ootz, let’s swerve back to your little mate Alcibiades then.

    Wikipedia tells me he had to flee Athens and sought refuge in Sparta, made enemies there and fled to Persia; was later called back to Athens as Strategos.

    Is this kind of jumping ship, jumping across to an enemy realm, really the kind of leadership we should look to? Are you in point of fact an Alcibiades Apologist?

    Or have I been taken in by the sophistry of the Alcibiades Alarmists (Again)?

    Kalispera

  50. I have never met John Quiggin, but feel I know him quite well. He’s a superbrain, came out of Adelaide, I think, has lived in Armidale, Townsville, and Canberra. You can find out about him here and here.

    His recent position at QU was to do with the economics of water and the MD system, I think.

    From memory (he had a conversation on his blog about this once) he reads at 900 wpm, remembers everything, and writes about 10,000 words per day. He can compose a 500 word article in his head, edit it, and then type it out at 60 wpm.

    On economics, his position is that economics as practiced is basically broken, and its basic tenets are ideological.

    He’s 63, and is too smart to go into politics. He lives in Ryan, the same electorate I do.

    He’s always worth listening to, but is not always right, and is quite happy to admit when he’s been wrong.

    Any way, to get back to Adani, Mark Ludlow, who is AFR writer of this stuff and based in Brisbane, texted Patricia Karvelas the other night to say Adani is an average size mine, as proposed. Of course it can be expanded later, as GM suggests, but may well become a stranded asset.

    However, India has always taken the approach that it has the right to pollute its way to prosperity, (ie. emissions reduction should be done by the advanced economies that caused the problem) so the Seccombe article I linked to above said India will increase coal-fired power at the same time as aggressively developing renewables.

    So I don’t have a clue what is going to happen. I merely note the actors in a free market don’t always make rational decisions. Who would have thought that Clive Palmer would buy a premium golf resort at Coolum and then turn it into rubbish by putting dinosaurs all over it and running it into the ground?

  51. This morning’s reports (in Nine) claim
    1. Mr Shorten may be thwarted, wanted Shadow Health, might be given Shadow NDIS
    2. Which would bring him full circle
    3. Kevin said Bill said “NDIS was beneath him” when Kevin was PM
    and
    4. Mr Shorten ‘still harbours leadership ambition’.

    Pollies might do well to restrain themselves when they have an urge to follow a poor example.

    Liberals decried the revolving door leadership turmoil in Labor then replicated it.
    Mr Abbott decried the undermining and sniping carried out by Mr Turnbull, than replicated it (and carried leadership ambitions).
    Kevin decried his own toppling but harboured leadership ambitions.

    All of this is in recent memory.

    You don’t have to delve back into history and look at rivalries such as Menzies/Casey or Calwell/Whitlam or McMahon leaking against colleagues (“Tiberius on the telephone”); Cairns/Whitlam; McEwen refusing Mr Gorton, etc.

    And the unstable, egotistical shocker that was Doc Evatt “the Party, c’est moi!!”

    A sorry tale indeed.

  52. To change Herr Marx’s quip slightly,
    “History repeats itself: first as farce, then as farce.”

    And in practical terms for improvement,
    Hitherto political commentators have described the world. The point, however, is to change it.

  53. John Davidson (Re: MAY 28, 2019 AT 9:50 PM)

    However, he has never had much to do with coal fired generators.

    John, wouldn’t it be prudent to take notice of people who “had much to do with coal fired generators“? Or are you aligned with Tony Abbott’s view where he said “we sub-contract too much out to experts already“?

    John, have you lost trust in experts?

  54. Brian (Re: MAY 28, 2019 AT 11:35 PM)

    Thanks for providing a bit more detail on JQ. IMO, he seems to have an astute intellect .

    Of course it can be expanded later, as GM suggests, but may well become a stranded asset.

    And the so-called “1,000s of jobs” evaporate.

    Posted at The Guardian on May 23 is an article by Lisa Cox headlined CFMEU warns Adani coalmine ‘risks selling out local jobs’ and threatens water. The article includes:

    The premier was under more pressure over the project on Thursday, this time from the construction arm of the Queensland branch of the CFMEU.

    The state secretary of the construction and general division, Michael Ravbar, said Palaszczuk risked “being taken for a ride by a shonky multinational with a chequered corporate history”.

    “This coal, and the 12.5 billion litres of water that Adani also plans to extract every year, is owned by the people of Queensland, yet we see little evidence that Adani is offering anything in return,” Ravbar said.

    “Our concern is that the promise of jobs and prosperity that was such a touchstone in the federal election is a myth; a fiction designed to hoodwink people into thinking Adani will be a good corporate citizen.”

    Ravbar suggests Adani is likely to ship in low-paid Indian construction workers (under the free-trade provisions) and use automation wherever possible when the mine becomes operational. Adani Mining’s chief executive, Lucas Dow, denies this.

  55. GM:

    However, he has never had much to do with coal fired generators.

    JD is careful to state his level of experience in various fields. He does know enough to avoid quoting construction figures that are 47 yrs old and does have some understanding of the benefits of cloning and a weak market for coal fired power stations. What is your relevant expertise?
    The SMH said on 29/5 that Kanavan thinks he has a mandate for a Central Qld coal fired power station.

  56. Three important questions again,

    What Countries are “ doing their part “ ?

    What are the multitude of metrics we set to add up to achieve a score for ranking ?

    What other than zero emissions would constitute “ doing their part “ ?

    Not about me….

  57. John Davidson (Re: MAY 29, 2019 AT 11:57 AM)

    JD is careful to state his level of experience in various fields.

    But it seems to me JD does SFA research on matters he has little or no experience in, yet makes all manner of baseless assertions.

    There’s an article in Modern Power Systems, dated 1 Nov 2006, headlined Kogan Creek enters the commissioning phase.

    Key points I take from the article:
    1999: Competitive tenders received.
    A single 750 MWe plant was selected, designed and supplied by Siemens, with Babcock Borsig to be boiler supplier.

    2000: CS Energy acquired a 40% stake in the power station and in June a limited NTP was issued, but the project was shelved a month later, with CS Energy requesting an extension to the validity of Siemens’ EPC contract.

    mid-2002: CS Energy bought the remaining 60% of the plant plus the coal mine from Mirant.

    May 2004: 39 month (3¼ year) construction period begins.

    September 2004: First preparatory activities on site began.

    July 2006: a successful boiler pressure test.

    September 2006: “back energising”, ie connection of the plant to the 275 kV grid, allowing commissioning to get underway.

    December 2006: first firing of the boiler due.

    March 2007: grid synchronization due.

    So, 1999 to March 2007 is roughly 8 years timeframe.
    The stuffing about on contractual issues and the Babcock Borsig insolvency may have delayed matters by a few years, perhaps, so if it had gone smoothly, the project probably may have been done in 5 to 6 years (from EPC contract signage to operational delivery).

    It appears to me JD dismisses Professor Ray Wills chart – what would Prof Wills know, eh JD? – but JD doesn’t provide any compelling evidence to refute it that includes the full time that was needed for engineering, procurement, construction and commissioned operational delivery of Kogan Creek Power Station.

    It appears to me JD dismisses ScoMo’s statement “A new HELE plant, five, six or seven years down the track” – what would the then Australian treasurer know? It’s not as if ScoMo would be adequately briefed, would he? Or perhaps JD thinks ScoMo was telling Australians porkies? IMO, any politician giving false info exposes them to ridicule and censure.

    And what would RenewEconomy know? JD appears to dismiss the reference given – perhaps they are too biased?

    JD, it seems to me you are too lazy to do research and resort to making baseless assertions, like with your pronouncements on “electro-fuels”. Remember that, or is that best forgotten?

    You ask:

    What is your relevant expertise?

    Apparently unlike you, JD, I do adequate research to back-up my statements.

  58. JD is not lazy.
    The evidence of this is available in the archives of this blog.

    A,
    junior reader

  59. Jez, and I’m called combative.

    Chill out GM.

    ( unless you’re a Composta type troll, in that case, carry on to see how far you get )

  60. Note- GM , it seems to me, is to lazy to answer my three questions….

    The floor is yours big fella.

  61. GM:

    Apparently unlike you, JD, I do adequate research to back-up my statements

    My experience tells me how much work is involved to answer some of the information you demand and yes, I don’t want to send my life doing this type of work.
    It is pretty obvious that the Kogan creek data is not typical for a number of obvious regions. What you have found doesn’t tell us if it was a clone and the effect of the health of the power business at the time on deliveries, quality of work etc. You would need to know quite a bit more about Kogan to be able to say how long it would have taken if the job ran well. A lot of the what went wrong information is unlikely to be honestly stated in published information.
    I would point out that you can wreck the argument for something by including all the things you can think of that would support the case. Opponents will pick on the weakness and something that should be done doesn’t get done because someone claimed too much.

  62. Good news: Queensland solar rule change declared “invalid” by Supreme Court

    The controversial solar rule change governing projects 100kW and over in Queensland has been declared invalid by that state’s Supreme Court, after a legal challenge by a solar farm developer.

    The managers of the 35MW Brigalow Solar Farm in the state’s south-east said on Wednesday afternoon that they had succeeded in their challenge to the new regulation, which came into force on May 13, despite a huge industry backlash.

    The case was brought by Maryrorough Solar with the support of the Clean Energy Council and other industry heavyweights, against the Electrical Safety (Solar Farms) Amendment Regulation 2019 (Qld). The highly unpopular and rushed through rule required licensed electricians to mount and fix solar panels on projects of 100kW and over.

    I read somewhere that the licenced electricians body opposed it on the grounds that electricians didn’t do apprenticeships expecting that they would spend their time lugging solar panels around.

  63. “Mounting and fixing unconnected solar panels to a rail is mechanical work – not electrical……”

    Clean Energy Council spokeswoman,
    quoted at Reneweconomy

    [news source widely accepted by commentators]

    But what would I know?
    All I’ve carried is the old 6 panels to the shed, and back again when we sold them. Definitely mechanical work.
    F = mg,
    where F = force, m = mass, and g = acceleration due to gravity a few millimetres above the surface of the planet Earth; see any good Solar System Guide for details of the Planet in question.

  64. John Davidson (Re: MAY 29, 2019 AT 9:28 PM)

    It is pretty obvious that the Kogan creek data is not typical for a number of obvious regions.

    “Obvious”, how? What other examples do you have to indicate “that the Kogan creek data is not typical“? Unless you can provide other examples that indicate Kogan Creek is atypical, then it seems to me you just made that up – too lazy to actually find supporting information for your argument assertion. You don’t have a clue what is a typical timeline to deliver a coal-fired power station.

    What you have found doesn’t tell us if it was a clone and the effect of the health of the power business at the time on deliveries, quality of work etc.

    John, you don’t know either – more suppositions.

    At least I’m providing data. What are you providing, John? Apparently baseless suppositions again! And ignoring all the data I present – how convenient for you!

    John, you chose the Kogan Creek example (with apparently scant research – just whip-up a Wikipedia reference – too easy). Now you are dismissing it because it is now inconvenient for your argument assertion.

    Scant data to support your arguments assertions and ignore any data that is (or becomes) inconvenient! IMO, that appears to be your modus operandi.

  65. I’m near finishing a post on Palmer as a threat to Australian and Qld democracy, and looking at what he really wanted (in brief, coal-friendly governments and subsidies for coal-fired power), then I’ll turn my hand to a quick look, without all the links, as to why Labor should not be tempted into bipartisanship on climate policy.

    See you tonight.

  66. GM why the apparent hostility to JD? It seems to me that rather than advancing a discussion here you are focusing on JD’s style of posting.
    I have huge respect for JD’s work because it reflects, inter alia, a great depth of personal and professional field experience. There comes a time for some, where their interactions with the matters of living amalgamate into a huge fund or body of knowledge, and that should carry prima facie respect.
    Of course, assertions from that body can be challenged, but challenges should be made with courtesy and respect. It should seek to resolve differences in viewpoints without animosity. It should not be an accusatory demand for “compelling evidence” or charges of being “lazy”.

  67. Thirded by Jumpy.

    ( apologies if my endorsement of of JDs character somehow diminishes it through some weird “ guilt by association “ shtick some like to try on )

  68. Brian, thank you for your plug for Prof JQ, I did not know the one about his reading speed. What strikes me about that man is his integrity, or as you put it:

    He’s always worth listening to, but is not always right, and is quite happy to admit when he’s been wrong.

  69. Agree, Ootz. And with what Geoff H said.

    Ambi, Don Farrell was part of Shorten’s inner circle, and is/was a residue of what used to be wrong with Labor.

  70. Indeed, Brian.

    I believe Mr Farrell’s first public showing was at the demise of Kevin, PM. Well played, sir!

    The NSW Right gets most of the bad publicity, but Mr Shorten’s Victorian (God Bless Her Majesty) Right faction lurks around in the shallows too.

    [Spellcock offered me Tight faction just now. Well discerned, Spellcock!]

    I do confess to enjoying the spectacle which the Press serves up, when occasionally a Tight faction unravels briefly, defections and traitorous new (temporary) alignments occur, and that dark underbelly of internal squabbling over plum jobs is exposed. {gallows humour, forsooth}

    In Queen Victoria’s realm some of the entertainment has been provided by the second rate Michael Kroger Players repertory in the Liberal Party.

    “Infamy! Infamy!! They’ve all got it infamy.”

  71. Geoff Henderson (Re: MAY 30, 2019 AT 11:13 AM)

    GM why the apparent hostility to JD?

    Why? It’s the BS he produces on occasions, then when challenged, deflects with insinuations about my experience and integrity – IMO that’s ad hominem. That type of discourse does not gain my respect, so I get a bit cranky.

    It seems to me that rather than advancing a discussion here you are focusing on JD’s style of posting.

    I’m certainly not “focusing on JD’s style”. Geoff H, where do you get that idea from? I’m focusing on the substance of some of JD’s claims/assertions – I’m seeking evidence/data that supports these claims/assertions that JD makes.

    Geoff H, the earlier ‘robust’ discussion on so-called “electro-fuels” prompted Brian’s piece: Too good to be true? Is green flying really possible? If I hadn’t challenged, you would have been none the wiser and lulled into a false sense of security asserted by JD. Geoff H, would you prefer the apparent fantasy that JD was asserting or the reality? I don’t like being BSed.

    I’ve noticed several statements JD has made about a few things that to me just don’t appear to add-up. Apparently, the rest of you haven’t picked-up on them. When I’ve challenged JD, he then attacks my experience and integrity, rather than addressing the questions raised. IMO most (not all) of you here on this blog appear to use the same tactic. I’ve noticed JD has done this quite a few times now, and I see it as attempts to deflect attention away from JD’s apparent baseless assertions (and “expertise” short-comings). More probing apparently reveals the lack of substance to some of the claims that JD makes.

    IMO, Jumpy, does the same thing, but in a much cruder way that I think is much easier to spot. Here’s Ootz’s assessment provided earlier in this thread that I think is an apt characterizing of Jumpy:

    Look at who managed to become the topic again. As I keep mentioning, you can’t have a debate with a freewheeling sociopath, cleverly derailing any decent discussion on here. I have seen the same deflections, strawman and circular arguments, baiting, retreating sulking into a corner etc etc for nearly a decade by now by this character. You will not get anywhere with this. It ends up always about him and only him, can we please go back to the topic again and ignore this time wasting and energy draining apparation.

    Yet you all apparently tolerate it.

    I call-out BS when I smell it. It seems to me JD has you hoodwinked by some things he states. I don’t think it’s deliberate – IMO it’s just a lack of relevant expertise, overconfidence/over-extension of ability and laziness in seeking supporting evidence/data, and the rest of you are apparently unable to recognize it. Yet you chastise me for highlighting it. Perhaps you don’t wish to acknowledge you can be easily led? It’s a weird world!

    IMO, what’s happening here in this commentary reflects what’s happening in the wider world – many people thinking they know better than the experts that draw upon the extensive body of evidence/data available. And despite all the denial and hubris, all the accumulating evidence/data is indicating a different reality. Pick a subject: climate change, resource depletion, population growth, vaccination, etc.

    Address challenges with evidence/data/sound logic – don’t deflect, evade or engage in ad hominem, and we might all become better informed. How many times do I have to state it for it to sink in?

  72. New post Clive Palmer: a threat to democracy is now up. Guess what? He wants to build a coal-fired power station in the Galilee Basin. Who would have thought?

    Any way, read all about it, tell your friends!

    This afternoon a tech from the NBN is coming to transfer us into the new world of the Australian version of ‘modern’ digital connectedness.

    If I disappear from the interwebs, you’ll know what happened.

  73. Geoff H, the earlier ‘robust’ discussion on so-called “electro-fuels” prompted Brian’s piece: Too good to be true? Is green flying really possible? If I hadn’t challenged, you would have been none the wiser and lulled into a false sense of security asserted by JD. Geoff H, would you prefer the apparent fantasy that JD was asserting or the reality? I don’t like being BSed.

    So who did the detailed work in the end. Was it you?

    I spent a hellava lot of time on it. A hellava lot.

    My basic interest is in the science of climate change, the climate emergency, and the broad policies we need. All this technical stuff is not my natural playground.

    How many times do I have to state it for it to sink in?

    Well, zero, or as many as you like, it will make no difference in terms of your intent.

  74. GM thanks for taking the time to respond to my (clumsy?) appeal for Queensbury rules to apply.

    You say: “It’s the BS he [JD] produces on occasions, then when challenged, deflects with insinuations about my experience and integrity – IMO that’s ad hominem” but then you immediately follow with : I’m certainly not “focusing on JD’s style”. As I read this you have in fact defined JD’s “style” and then denied focusing on it – and then continue to do so.

    My post asked why you were so hostile to JD. You answered:
    “Why? It’s the BS he produces on occasions, …” Well in those few words you have agreed that hostility exists. GM it happens in any forum that posts from a contributor find disagreement from others. Heck that’s what forums are about. And sometimes an emotional response can be generated. Sometimes that is very frustrating but surely more is to be gained by polite discussion than terse demands for evidence and calling people lazy.

    Johns “style” is not always peer reviewed, but that applies to a lot of materiel here. That said, in general the discussions are worthy and if you are so inclined, can be further researched. All in a dignified way.

    If you will permit a last observation. You say:
    “Address challenges with evidence/data/sound logic…” It’s as if they are the only criteria for research or discussion. But consider what evidence/data/sound logic underpinned the great explorers voyages of discovery? Or the many scientific advances that stemmed from thought long before evidence was available. What irrefutable evidence was available to Captain Cook before he undertook his voyages? I think your bar is erring on the side of being one-dimensional GM.

  75. Brian (Re: MAY 31, 2019 AT 10:51 AM)

    So who did the detailed work in the end. Was it you?

    I flagged the issue. You went further with your post: Too good to be true? Is green flying really possible?

    I spent a hellava lot of time on it. A hellava lot.

    Where have I stated (or implied) you haven’t? My first comment in response to your post was:

    Brian, that’s a big effort for a comprehensive update. Well done!

    All this technical stuff is not my natural playground.

    All the more reason to be wary of assertions being made without corroborating evidence/data to back it up, particularly from people who don’t apparently have experience in the relevant fields.

    …it will make no difference in terms of your intent.

    That suggests to me you are making excuses for JD’s poor behaviour.

  76. Geoff Henderson (Re: MAY 31, 2019 AT 11:55 AM)

    Sometimes that is very frustrating but surely more is to be gained by polite discussion than terse demands for evidence and calling people lazy.

    Being polite apparently didn’t work. JD just stone-walled, and deflected with insinuations on my experience and integrity. He set the tone.

    What irrefutable evidence was available to Captain Cook before he undertook his voyages?

    I think you will find Captain Cook didn’t undertake his voyages completely blind. He had some information to inform him, plus exceptional skills and judgement, and luck. I think you’ll find the NASA Moon missions were not done completely blind either.

    I think your bar is erring on the side of being one-dimensional GM.

    We live in a world that has benefited from scientific inquiry based on exploring evidence/data/sound logic. Your comment suggests to me we ignore those principles, and give weight to all manner of assertions without testing them against evidence/data/sound logic. IMO that attitude is far too common – is it any wonder humanity faces extinction when humanity exhibits self-delusion that we can somehow escape the consequences of our actions?

  77. GM it’s your right to see things through whatever lens you choose, so good luck to you.
    But your reliance on science is too complete and is perhaps limiting your view of the world. After all, science only emerged a very long time after Man started out. A notable observation made by Einstein is: “It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.”
    If you give it some though GM, science has allowed us to so abuse this planet that we are now in trouble. So far, science has not led us out of trouble.

  78. Geoff Henderson (Re: MAY 31, 2019 AT 2:06 PM)

    If you give it some though GM, science has allowed us to so abuse this planet that we are now in trouble. So far, science has not led us out of trouble.

    Science is ‘agnostic’ – neither good or bad. It’s what humanity chooses to do with it.

    Science is offering some solutions to mitigate the abuse humanity is engaging in towards planet Earth and its ecosystems. Humanity is choosing to ignore them – a lack of political will.

  79. Science is ‘agnostic’ – neither good or bad.

    But Scientists are not agnostics, they have all the weaknesses that everyone has.

    Has one declared any Country achieving zero emissions?

    ( not about me )

  80. Example,
    I hear the scientific consensus is that more vegetarianism will lower methane emissions.

    True or not true ?

  81. GM, you don’t know JD. I do. You are characterising him in a way I don’t recognise.

  82. It looks as though the NBN installation was successful. It was also illuminating. I might tell you about it later tonight.

  83. Science and engineering have their places, but “there is more in the Universe than is dreamt of in their philosophies”.

    Science has given us stacks of knowledge, but every scientific theory is provisional; none is tenable for all time. I cite Aristotle/Galileo on falling bodies, then Galileo/Einstein on relative motion, then Ptolemy/Copernicus/Descartes/Kepler/Newton/Einstein/de Sitter/Hawking
    on matters astronomical.

    Theories are supplanted by other theories. Theories are also tested by new evidence, experiments, new methods of investigation…….

    Why, it has even been observed that an “endangered species” of one decade, can bounce back and achieve (unpredicted) population growth. To repeat an old saw, for the amusement of Mr J: making predictions is risky, especially if they’re predictions about the future.

    I am not “anti-science”.
    I am a sceptic in all things.

    I thought Federal Labor was going to win the recent election.
    No, really. I did.
    Dozens of statisticians were saying so. Being “political scientists”, why on Earth should I have doubted their expertise and their data?

    An anecdote from the early 1950s: a relative worked in a scientific/engineering lab. Came home and told the spouse, “Some of the blokes at work are quite crazy. They talk about humans travelling to the Moon one day!!” Spouse laughed.

  84. Brian enter speedtest.net into your browser. That will get you a speed test that shows how fast (or slow) your internet speed is. I don’t know how accurate it is but is widely used as a reference.

    I’m on a 50 mbps scheme and get around 38 download, 23 mbps upload.

    ‘Interested to see what you get…

  85. Jumpy 6.37pm.

    Beats me.
    Do you know the answer?

    I. What is the assumed vege diet?
    II. How much methane output is likely in the growing of the crops and the composting of crop wastes?
    III. How much methane is currently burped up by masticating cows, bulls? Beef herds?
    IV. How much methane is emitted by rotting natural (non-crop) vegetation right now? What about swamps? Oceans? Volcanoes?
    V. And non-farm animals, now? Are they culprits?
    VI. What of the global Methane Cycle? How long does methane reside in the atmosphere? What chemical or photochemical reactions remove it?

    Looks like a fairly large research programme, Mr Jumpy.

    I know that scientists at a dairy research place in Vic were investigating cow nutrition and cow genetics, with the aim of finding ways of reducing methane emissions…..ten years ago…. Sure that such work must be going on all over the place.

    VII. Then there are the clathrates currently (more or less) trapped under the Siberian ice.

    We’re doomed.

  86. BTW, the CSIRO has just discovered a seaweed cow food that gets rid of 80% of the ruminants’ methane. Now we just need to start up a seaweed growing and harvesting industry, and deliver at a price that makes it realistic.

    Geoff H, I think we are paying for 45 mbps unlimited. Just now I got 43.4 and 18.6 upload, with ping 12.

    When we tried it this arvo after installation it was a little more. I think previously we were getting above 50 download and around 10 upload and ping in single figures.

    We are paying $10 per month less, now have free landline within Aust, to mobiles of whatever ilk. Telstra says practically no-one uses those old things any more, so why charge? We do!

    Our phone landline had audio gremlins in it. Expect those will go, but haven’t seriously tried it yet.

  87. Seaweed growing is all very well, Brian, but we would need to live in a place that had some suitable (marine) coastline, yes? Not very realistic here in Australia!

    Oh wait…..

  88. Ambi, I suspect our problem is that we grow most of our beef on tropical savannah, often finished off in feedlots, but kelp grows in cooler waters.

    I haven’t actually read anything about it yet.

    New post up – The gig economy is not all it is cracked up to be.

    Last night I read right through the GM/JD stoush thing. IMO it went off the rails when GM reacted to JD supposedly knowing better than a graph that appeared in RenewEconomy.

    GM, RenewEconomy is not a neutral site. And you were arguing from an out-of-date general, and an out-of-date particular in Kogan Creek, to an unknown future particular.

    Have to go now, before I get into JD’s extensive experience in running a mine, working in the construction industry and in research in Melbourne for a time.

    Plus, on science, we could perhaps talk about ways of knowing, epistemology, and Howard Gardner’s concept of ‘multiple intelligences, which have an amazing correspondence to the P-10 curriculum. John Ralston Saul also had some interesting essays on the dangers of relying solely or excessively on reason.

    All is flux and change, and remember at the bottom of it all the laws of physics when examined closely don’t make any ordinary sense.

  89. Thanks Brian.

    Now to veer off for a minute.

    I wish to acknowledge those Chinese citizens who were killed in the Tiananmen turmoil in early June 1989. The workers who tried to block the Army tanks heading towards the Square, the students trampled by tanks or shot, the soldiers dragged from their vehicles by angry citizens and lynched on the spot….

    After 30 years, the CCP has not atoned or conducted a public enquiry.

    The Tiananmen protests ran for weeks. They were provocative and acerbic, and peaceful. The Govt or part thereof ordered the demonstration be put down by armed force. As the tanks rolled in, a protestor said quietly to a Western reporter, “Make sure the world knows about this.”

    Human freedom is often won at a terrible price. Viva the martyrs of Beijing, 1989.

    Viva!!

  90. I’m after a little help if anyone would be so kind, and yes, it is about me.

    My screen view of Climate Plus is like something from the time before I’d ever seen a blog !

    I don’t know if I’ve clicked something that made it that way or if anyone else is experiencing similar things but it’s ugly.

    Any ideas would be appreciated.

  91. Brian (Re: JUNE 1, 2019 AT 10:53 AM)

    GM, RenewEconomy is not a neutral site.

    I’m well aware of that. But I didn’t just reference the RenewEconomy article Five reasons not to build new coal power plant in Queensland (re EPC timeframe for a coal-fired power station). You appear to ignore UWA Professor Ray Wills’ chart I referred to, dated 10 Oct 2017. Are you dismissing this data, and on what grounds? Is that too old, Brian? What credible evidence do you have that contradicts this, Brian?

    And you were arguing from an out-of-date general, and an out-of-date particular in Kogan Creek, to an unknown future particular.

    Are you saying the Modern Power Systems article headlined Kogan Creek enters the commissioning phase, dated 1 Nov 2006, has published incorrect information? Is the “1999: Competitive tenders received” reference incorrect? What credible evidence do you have that contradicts the information given, and all the other dates prior to the date of the published article, Brian? Just because the article was published in 2006 doesn’t mean the facts outlined in it have changed in 2019 – IMO you are being absurd.

    And yes, these references:

    December 2006: first firing of the boiler due.

    March 2007: grid synchronization due,

    …are future tense relative to the published article. But JD cites the Wikipedia Kogan Creek Power Station reference where it includes (bold text my emphasis):

    Kogan Creek consists of only one boiler-turbine-generator unit. At 750 MW, it is the largest single unit in Australia. Construction by a consortium led by Siemens commenced in 2004 and was completed in 2007.[7] It was opened by the Queensland Premier Anna Bligh and Minister for Mines and Energy Geoff Wilson on 27 November 2007.[8]

    It seems to me the dates in the Wikipedia reference that JD cites are not inconsistent with the Modern Power Systems article.

    And then there’s my reference to ScoMo’s reported comment:

    “A new HELE plant, five, six or seven years down the track it is estimated it would be bidding at around $70 or $80.”

    Are you saying ScoMo was poorly briefed, or lying, or was his quote misquoted? What’s your evidence, Brian?

    And this is what John Davidson’s comment (at MAY 28, 2019 AT 9:50 PM) included:

    However, he has never had much to do with coal fired generators.

    Are you willing to dismiss/reject all the evidence/data I have presented in preference to JD’s stated inexperience with coal fired generators and his unsubstantiated assertions, Brian? If so, I think you have a delusional perspective on reality. IMO, you are trying to defend the indefensible.

  92. “Sigh “. GM you maintain an adversarial style. Has that always worked for you because I suppose, it seems your preferred operandi. In my view that is a form of bullying, but that’s only my view.
    To be frank, I appreciate your considered opinion on most topics. You clearly take time to find compelling evidence to support your view. I don’t know if you eliminate alternative views because you don’t mention that – you cite only supporting opinions. A fair lit review would likely add to the value of your work but I’ll confess to be too damn lazy to take the trouble. And I’m too old to care whether you are able to accept my views or not. I’m not too old though to resent the disrespect you intentionally heap upon this forum. Who the fluck are you that you can impose such a grossly inept manner on this blog?
    ( I offer my apologies in advance to those who believe I am being a bit precious )

  93. No apologies needed GH from my perspective.
    GM is not acting as a guest that would be welcomed at anyone’s backyard QBQ.

  94. It won’t help at all, Jumpy, but I think comments on the old Larvatus were numbered.

  95. Jumpy: have you entered a time warp in which blog posts are still numbered, and from which warp you are able, across the years, to communicate with those of us who’re in 2019? (and has your family noticed yet…)

    I know for a fact that you used to be in 2019, because you commented on events of this year.

    Did you see anything unusual as you slipped away down the wormhole?

  96. GM: We have had this conversation before but basically I am a thinker who gets his kicks out of coming up with new ideas, seeing things that other people don’t see and seeing the implications of new data and ideas. My interests range from philosophy, strategies, government and a range ot technical issues.
    I am quite happy to take advantage of the things you come up in your literature searches and respect your capacity to do this sort of stuff. However, searching has to be done with some experience and knowledge of statistics and the area in which you are searching. (Ex: An experienced searcher would not use 47 yr old construction times as a guide to modern construction times.)
    My own view is that literature searches should be done after the thinking. Your thinking will be restricted if you know what other people have tried. Literature searches can be also a problem if the only acceptable proof depends on showing ancients like Socrates agreed with what you are saying. (If you want to know how many teeth a donkey has you have to find out what the ancients say instead of going out and counting donkey teeth.
    Enjoy your searching. Still interested to know how long it takes to get a clone power station project to go from beginning to end in a period when the market for new coal fired power stations is weak.

  97. GM, I don’t really care much how long it took to build Kogan Creek. Given the number of coal-fired power stations built in Asia in the last 20 years, I’d reckon some of the bigger firms are pretty well organised. And as JD said:

    Still interested to know how long it takes to get a clone power station project to go from beginning to end in a period when the market for new coal fired power stations is weak.

    Chances are that if we built such a plant it would garden variety on a site that is not too difficult. I’d have to check, but the last I saw was that AEMO said there would be a pinch in electricity supply around 2024, but that was in the AFR in the context of the future of gas.

    The important question is should we?

    An equally important question is should the Commonwealth be intervening in the market itself, or should it be private enterprise working with the states?

    I gather Snowy 2.0 was a huge turn-off for the entrepreneurial class. Now they come with the Tasmanian ‘battery for the nation’ thing, sundry projects by reverse tender, talk of new coal-fired power in Qld, and big stick threats of forced sale and dismemberment. Any sensible capitalist would look to take their money elsewhere in the world.

  98. Jumpy, I don’t know what you are talking about in problems with CP. The thing has temporarily fallen apart for me a few times, and Dreamhost offers upgrades, for a new price, of course. Viv said they just want more money.

    Numbered comments are near the top of the list for me if Viv ever gets around to upgrading. The current version was thrown together in a hurry with minimum consultation when the original fell apart.

    Recently Firefox would not allow me to do new posts, for security reasons, they said, so I had to use Chrome, which I loathe. Now it’s back on the job.

    BTW Firefox wouldn’t allow me access to one of my bank accounts either.

    It’s all a worry, but my young son says, if you are having a problem with computer stuff, the problem is not you.

  99. Firefox has just kicked me out again, and Chrome reckons I can’t do the simple addition problem first time to prove I’m human, when I can, then the second time it accepts me.

    That happens regularly.

  100. Dear all
    I have addressed some remarks to GM, and I am hoping that I have not breached forum rules, or assumed a right that I did not have. I’m not regretful of my content just latterly concerned that you all might not appreciate discussion turning this way.
    GM has peed me off before and I thought he had mellowed out a bit. But his uninformed criticisms of Brian and JD got me frothing at the mouth. I don’t argue against his being in disagreement with anything, but I resent his bullying personalisation when he seeks to have his view prevail – his posts offer compelling evidence of that.

  101. Geoff Henderson (Re: JUNE 1, 2019 AT 6:25 PM)

    You clearly take time to find compelling evidence to support your view. I don’t know if you eliminate alternative views because you don’t mention that – you cite only supporting opinions.

    I cite information based on evidence/data. If you think my information/arguments are wrong then you find compelling contradictory evidence/data/sound logic – engage! Oh, that’s right, you say:

    …but I’ll confess to be too damn lazy to take the trouble.

    And there’s your problem: “too damn lazy“. You are unwilling to do basic work, and yet abuse me for it (with expletives, no less). You seem unable to recognize the difference between unsubstantiated opinions and evidence/data.

    Is it any wonder humanity is in a looming dire predicament (and Brian’s ongoing posts have indicated this for years) when it seems to me we have many people like you with that attitude – disregard/reject evidence/data/sound logic in preference for unsubstantiated opinions from people who have little or no experience in the relevant field.

    And I’m too old to care whether you are able to accept my views or not.

    Are you too old to care for your children’s (and grandchildren’s) futures (if you have any)?

    It seems to me you prefer fantasy over reality. Is reality too frightening for you? Is that why you lash-out at me for jolting you out of the fantasy?

    Who the fluck are you that you can impose such a grossly inept manner on this blog?

    Back at you!

  102. John Davidson (Re: JUNE 1, 2019 AT 9:40 PM)

    My own view is that literature searches should be done after the thinking.

    It seems to me that’s a recipe for confirmation bias.

    However, searching has to be done with some experience and knowledge of statistics and the area in which you are searching. (Ex: An experienced searcher would not use 47 yr old construction times as a guide to modern construction times.)

    Please don’t patronize me. You continue to ignore all the other information I’ve presented and are just focusing on this one little issue. You have not provided any compelling contradictory evidence to support your proposition – just baseless suppositions with the admission: “has never had much to do with coal fired generators“.

    Still interested to know how long it takes to get a clone power station project to go from beginning to end…

    Rather than just thinking, go searching for what is actually happening. ScoMo has been reported saying:

    “A new HELE plant, five, six or seven years down the track it is estimated it would be bidding at around $70 or $80.”

    Why isn’t that a good enough answer for you? Or would that be an admission that your thinking analysis is flawed?

  103. Brian (Re: JUNE 1, 2019 AT 11:16 PM)

    The important question is should we?

    Brian, surely with the years of posts you have done, you have a wealth of information to be able to answer that question.

    Here’s a new hint: ClimateCodeRed.org post on May 30 headlined Can we think in new ways about the existential human security risks driven by the climate crisis?

    Note: This post is the foreword to a policy paper on existential climate and security risks released today by Breakthrough. It is written by Retired Admiral Chris Barrie, who was Chief of the Australian Defence Force from 1998 to 2002.

  104. GH

    Jumpy try Control V to paste

    Thanks Mate but I don’t think I can do that on my iPad.

    It must be something that I’ve done because CP is normal on the desktop and phone.

    I’ve tried off then on again too.

    I’ll just live with it till I accidentally undo what I’ve done.

  105. Jumpy, from a long complicated story, I suspect it is a problem between the WordPress software that CP runs on and the software that runs your ipad. My story involves a Vivofit 4 Garmin pedometer which also monitors sleep quality and other stuff. It won’t link with my Samsung Galaxy phone. Several hours (about 4) of talking to super helpful peeps at Indooroopilly Rebel Sport, JB Hifi and the Telstra shop at Toowong, I found that Samsung run their phones on propriety software which they modify. However, the Galaxy is bottom of the range, the software is 5 years old and they have not supported it to keep it compatible with the rest of the cyber world. The Garmin app simply will not talk to the Galaxy, and there is no work-around.

    So if I want to join the modern digital world I have to buy a new phone, although the Samsung is only 6 months old.

    Irony of ironies, we received our franking credit refund the Monday after the election, so guess where we are going this afternoon!

    Yes, I know, we should donate them to the poor.

    Jumpy, if you go to ‘Contact’ on the LHS sidebar you could send me the sreenshot. I’d like you to do that along with the model of the ipad pls.

  106. The important question is should we?

    Brian, surely with the years of posts you have done, you have a wealth of information to be able to answer that question.

    Yes, and if I wasn’t anchored here in an essentially pointless argument, that is what I’d be doing.

    Thanks for the new link. You are good at that and I’m sure it’s appreciated by all on this blog.

    GM, if the Coalsheviks want to build a coal-fired power station they will, irrespective of whether it is necessary, how long it takes, or whatever. That’s not actually what they are on about, nor cheaper electricity. They’ve ignored the NEG which they were told by ‘experts’ would reduce electricity bills by $500 pa.

    Finally, I take all information from ‘experts’ with a grain of salt. I’ll refer you to the item #1: Why smart people do stupid things?

  107. Geoff H, I appreciate you intervention. You said some stuff better than I ever could have.

    The comments policy needs to stay how it is. However, I’m not here to moderate when most of the discussion happens. Also it’s time consuming for me, and I’ve never been much good at it, IMO.

    So some self-regulation between peers seems the pragmatic way to go, but I don’t want to state that in the formal policy.

  108. Brian (Re: JUNE 2, 2019 AT 12:48 PM)

    Yes, and if I wasn’t anchored here in an essentially pointless argument, that is what I’d be doing.

    Brian, IMO it has been “pointless” because none of you here commenting in this blog have provided a shred of compelling evidence/data to contradict what I’ve presented – all just baseless “opinion”, and personal attacks (some with expletives included). So it seems to me that evidence/data is irrelevant if your held “opinions” are challenged. Is it any wonder that climate change science denial is rife with attitudes like that?

    GM, if the Coalsheviks want to build a coal-fired power station they will, irrespective of whether it is necessary, how long it takes, or whatever.

    If that’s the case then your children risk facing extinction , and it may well be sooner than you think.

    Brian, have you read the BreakThrough policy paper Existential climate-related security risk: A scenario approach (referred in the ClimateCodeRed.org post linked above) yet? On page 8 begins A 2050 Scenario, outlining what is likely to happen (based on latest C/C science) with the specified start conditions described:

    2020–2030: Policy-makers fail to act on evidence that the current Paris Agreement path — in which global human-caused greenhouse emissions do not peak until 2030 — will lock in at least 3°C of warming. The case for a global, climate-emergency mobilisation of labour and resources to build a zero-emission economy and carbon drawdown in order to have a realistic chance of keeping warming well below 2°C is politely ignored. As projected by Xu and Ramanathan, by 2030 carbon dioxide levels have reached 437 parts per million — which is unprecedented in the last 20 million years — and warming reaches 1.6°C. [18]

    The scenario outlined continues and is very scary stuff. Following the scenario there’s a discussion, that begins with:

    This scenario provides a glimpse into a world of “outright chaos” on a path to the end of human civilisation and modern society as we have known it, in which the challenges to global security are simply overwhelming and political panic becomes the norm.

    Yet the world is currently completely unprepared to envisage, and even less deal with, the consequences of catastrophic climate change. [23]

    Brian, you finish with:

    Finally, I take all information from ‘experts’ with a grain of salt. I’ll refer you to the item #1: Why smart people do stupid things?

    Brian, do you see any “smart people”?

  109. I guess the world is composed of different peoples and different views, and IMHO that’s how it should be.
    Some see the world in terms of black and white, ignoring or not admitting to the vast areas of grey in the world. Others operate in a one dimensional environment. I suspect such people are comfortable because they don’t see the need to wrestle the subjectives of life.
    Just a philosophical view…

  110. Brian
    Have you ever considered a thread of no politics, no agro, no debate just regular shits and giggles life stuff that’s positive to folk ?

    Sort of a Wednesday Whimsy type of deal every few months.

    Just good stuff about people, places, experiences, dreams, ambitions, achievements or quirky amusing stuff intended to be viewed with a smile.

  111. GM, if you keep piling on the insults, I’ve got better things to do. I still appreciate your links and references.

    I can see my spelling has gotten worse!

    Jumpy, I got it. The second would not open, the first did. Jeez, numbered comments! Who would have thought!

    Something lighter and brighter? I think I have at times within my own limits. But I am limited in that sense.

    However, things are very serious right now. I don’t need to be lectured by GM about it. I’m trying to get some urgent stuff up while Labor policy is still fluid.

    The LNP are a waste of time, and in effect completely disruptive, arbitrary and unpredictable in the name of ideology and what they think will keep them in power. Essentially they are trashing the NEM, which leaves the responsibility electricity with the states and acts co-operatively.

    Business, especially the energy sector, has no idea what is coming next.

    It all went off the rails when Turnbull and Frydenberg decided to lie for political purposes after the dirty big storm in SA caused a blackout. Everything the Feds have done since has made the situation worse.

  112. Brian, do you see any “smart people”?

    Lots, including you. But what a stupid question!

  113. BB wrote:

    It all went off the rails when Turnbull and Frydenberg decided to lie for political purposes after the dirty big storm in SA caused a blackout. Everything the Feds have done since has made the situation worse.

    Yes.
    Was the PM looking over his shoulder to see whether Tony Abbott Point, was looking for another coup? (I refer to the late 2009 dumping of Opposition Leader Turnbull; no link; merely my recollection.)

    Yet PM Turnbull had expressed enthusiasm for new technologies. They were set to be game changers. Innovation, start ups, a new kind of politics!! The public was led to believe the days of simple-minded Three Word Slogans were over.

    And all through the years, businesses large and small along with ‘peak business groups’ sought ‘certainty’, preferably bipartisan. So, if the Liberals and Nationals are the natural allies of business, how did they get away with their schemozzle?

  114. Mr J

    Did you have in mind an occasional forum where we can look at your new bike, or BilB’s links to yachties in paradise, or songs on YouTube, etc?

    Mr A

  115. Brian, I’m happy to do a guest post every quarter or so on happy stuff if your willing to show me how.

    Things “ Sailing La Vagabond “ ( that BilB would know ) on YouTubes.
    Or good news, non controversial stuff.

    Or the exciting battles of the oldies with Terminator ( Annie ) and { wink wink } Last Blood ( Sly ) coming soon!

    [ warning, in my version of CP the preview bottom is just decorative at the moment, errors with definitely occur ]

  116. Mr A, get the bike tomorrow.
    I’m not quite sure if excitement or anxiety is what I’m feeling given I’ve not ridden in 15 years.

    Bit of both.

  117. Hmmmm

    Ride carefully then.
    No good posting from a hospital ward with several limbs in plaster.

    Toodle pip.

  118. Though,
    from what I saw
    and the very
    little I know

    It seemed not
    to be a vehicle
    designed with
    “carefully”
    in mind.

    (Blank verse from my recent collection: Too Long To Be A Haiku)

  119. GM: I said:

    My own view is that literature searches should be done after the thinking.

    You said:

    It seems to me that’s a recipe for confirmation bias.

    You don’t like the lessons learned by the experience of mere mortals like me do you?
    What many people miss with me is that I change my mind quickly if someone comes up with a good argument, ideas I hadn’t heard before or new data. But I do hang in when I think that someone hasn’t got it right. You seem too obsessed with winning arguments against the likes of me instead of listening..
    Just accept that you and I have very different minds and both of us can make a contribution at times.

  120. all just baseless “opinion”, and personal attacks (some with expletives included)(Emphasis added)

    I remember only one, not some.

    GM it was a bunch of letters I had never seen before in that configuration. So it wasn’t a word as such. A bunch of letters has to have conventionally accepted meaning before it becomes a word. That’s why I let it stay. I did not want to kill off the possibility of a new word. Also it seemed to convey a feeling, which is fine in terms of blog moderation.

    However, it occurs to me that you use language in addressing John D and me and others at times that you would not use sitting a metre away with eye contact. To do so would be to put at risk the structure of your nose.

    To anticipate, that is not a threat. What I’m saying is that you use language to address people here that you could not use face to face. You might have a bit of a think about that.

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