Some time in the last few days I heard a person who should know better say that 1800 coal-fired power plants were being built around the world. One wonders where this (dis)information comes from. It went unchallenged by the ABC interviewer, showing once again that ABC journalists and presenters need an update on climate change – in the national interest.
As Adam Morton at The Guardian writes The world is going slow on coal, but misinformation is distorting the facts. Back in June, John “Wacka” Williams asked the Parliamentary Library how many coal plants there were, how many were being built, how many closed etc and could he have the information by 4pm?
The Library included the information that 621 units were being built, the point here being that power plants typically have multiple units. Hazelwood had eight.
Unfortunately, this information was wrong. Continue reading Coal power fading fast
1. Washer’s lament – the end of deliberative democracy
Dr Mal Washer was a Liberal member of the Australian House of Representatives from October 1998 to August 2013. While he was there it is said he was doctor to the house, providing medical help and personal counselling to members of parliament.
When Waleed Aly and Scot Stevens spoke to Katharine Murphy about whether the Dutton insurrection was a symptom of how we do politics in Australia, she quoted Washer inter alia. She gave a three-part answer.
First, the major parties once represented stability to the electorate. Not any more. Rather the reverse. What happened is now hard-baked into the system. Continue reading Weekly salon 2/9
Or does it?
The Betoota Advocate says:
In breaking news out of the nation’s capital, a rich white dude from Sydney has replaced another rich white dude from Sydney as the Prime Minister.
in even more sensational news, a rich white woman has been replaced by a rich white man for the Deputy Prime Ministership, with Josh Frydenberg taking over from Julie Bishop.
Scott Morrison, the new rich dude, is selling himself as a generational change and it’s all about you, the voter. A 64 year-old and a 62 year-old have been replaced by a 50 year-old and a 47 year-old.
Certainly we dodged a bullet in what may have been Malcolm Turnbull’s finest hour in thwarting Peter Dutton’s rebellion. So where does that leave us, especially in relation to climate change? Continue reading Liberal Party shootout brings changing of the guard
The headline in the AFR was Leadership spill: ‘Someone threw a grenade in the swamp’ – CEOs recoil, raising the spectre of capital flight.
APA Group chief executive Mick McCormack, whose company owns gas pipelines and is building wind and solar farms in Queensland and WA, said it was disappointing after the government secured “broad agreement” on the National Energy Guarantee to see “politics blow it up, destroy it, crush it”.
Ed McManus, chief executive of wind farm operator Kiwi-owned Meridian Energy Australia and its retail arm Powershop, raised the spectre of international capital flight in response to the chaos in Canberra.
Continue reading CEOs recoil in horror at leadership spill
Here are the last four feature articles from Giles Parkinson at RenewEconomy (as of last weekend):
It’s quite likely that politicians don’t read RenewEconomy. Here’s Ben Potter in the last Weekend AFR:
Continue reading The die is cast – Turnbull chooses political power over the future of the planet and humanity
The Turnbull government has effectively vacated the field on climate change mitigation. Until it shows that it is serious on the matter, there can be no certainty, no end to the climate wars.
The Energy Security Board working for the Turnbull government has come up with a National Energy Guarantee which does no work on emissions reduction, because the target of 26% will be met almost as soon as the policy becomes operational. From the post NEG becomes a farce, this is what is forecast to happen:
Continue reading 26 per cent emissions target means no certainty
Malcolm Turnbull specialises in scapegoating and threatening, while Josh Frydenberg sits there looking vacant, as well he might, until it’s his turn.
Danny Price in an article well worth reading, says Politicians have destroyed the trust needed to make the NEG work.
Kane Thornton CEO of the Clean Energy Council says NEG car is worth buying, even if tyres need pumping up, the flat tyre to him being the 26% emissions reduction target, which will be met by work under way before the NEG starts. If you want to use that analogy, the NEG is like a car without an engine, because it does no work.
David Leitch has two compelling articles – Energy (In)security Board and its modelling spreadsheet and Know your NEM: The ESB is becoming a laughing stock. If, however, you want to read just one article, read Simon Holmes à Court’s NEG promises death of wind and solar, and even battery storage. Continue reading NEG becomes a farce
On the weekend Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg gently reminded the Coalsheviks in the LNP Coalition that they should not be flirting with the idea of coal-fired power, because
we have to factor in a “carbon-constrained future”.
He warns that they may be investing in what will become ‘stranded assets’ before they wear out.
Why doesn’t he tell them like it really is? Tell them to look out the window.
The heatwave in Europe this year has been assessed as ‘five times’ more likely because of climate change. The northern summer’s heat is being recognised as the strongest climate signal yet. Wildfires have raced through neighborhoods in the western United States, Greece and as far north as the Arctic Circle. Drought is threatening food supplies: Continue reading NEG policy disaster won’t fly
On Wednesday morning Ben Potter’s article in the AFR Coalition fiddles as renewables remake grid told business leaders and politicians what is actually happening before their eyes.
Over at the Oz the headline was:
Abbott call: Pull out of Paris deal
NATS DEMAND THREE COAL POWER STATIONS
So, what is going on? We’ll look at the Nats first, then Abbott, and finally, the real world. Things are coming to a crunch point which will determine how Malcolm Turnbull’s stewardship is seen by future generations. Continue reading ‘Coalsheviks’ want to head renewable energy off at the pass
In the Lowy Institute Poll 2018 (interactive version here) respondents were asked to rate 11 threats to Australia’s vital interests as (1) a critical threat, (2) an important but not critical threat, or (3) not an important threat at all. Here’s the result:
At 58% climate change came third. However, a stubborn 11% thought climate change not a threat at all. Continue reading Australians speak: what does the government hear?
I did not get my full post on the NEG (National Energy Guarantee) finished last night, so it will have to await the COAG meeting today.
Commentators seem to think the NEG will get an amber light from the states. The main problem is that in terms of emissions reduction the NEG has been evaluated as worse than doing nothing by Reputex. To the world it will look like it is – Australia keeping up appearances while putting the mockers on renewable energy and giving coal the best chance ever to keep wrecking the planet. Continue reading NEG: the plan to do less than nothing
About a month ago Meridian Australia’s CEO Ed McManus said that while the electricity market can turn on a dime, stability had returned to the market and the trend looks good. They had just concluded a swag of hydro, wind and solar power deals which will deliver cheaper electricity than the company could buy in the wholesale market. So their retail arm Powershop was offering a 5 per cent price cut to consumers.
Continue reading Energy crisis? What energy crisis?