36 thoughts on “Sandpit

  1. “Triblades just sit in one place on a big pillar when they are generating electricity. This is very efficient, which is one of the reasons that they payback the energy used in construction faster than any other form of electrical generation.”

    I find this VERY hard to believe. Because you have to get the timing SO GOOD that the coal-electricity guys have enough confidence to not super-fire their furnaces for peak time. From THEIR END the wind people may have done as stated. But without perfect timing they haven’t saved any coal burnt.

    Whereas if intermittent technology is paired with some efficient battery operation (compressed air, sending water uphill for hydro-electricity later, heating up salt under mountains of earth, one or two others maybe) only then can it be helpful to the goals of the grid entire.

  2. But rog why would we doubt him? We need to have some tolerance for the younger intellectuals amongst us. But I know that you are not a young fellow. And Bob isn’t a young fellow. And I know that a lot of us thought that the hard greenies were a bit nutty.

    But my memory tells me that Bob was pretty solid from a CHARACTER point of view. So we all should look a little bit askance at some of the young fellows getting a bit excited and being a bit ready to condemn our good brother. When some of us who have been around the block a bit ……. we really DO know better right? I never doubted Bob’s character and thats the sort of personal-capital we ought to help Bob conserve, in the face of younger intellectual types.

    Look most ex-politicians of all stripes could disappear tomorrow and it would not amount to much. But Bob, crazy or not, really is a brother to us all. And I cannot see a narrative where he ought not be believed at face value.

  3. Smith9 – “arced up”* by Bob Brown says: “Of course he was. That was why he [ Bob Brown ] repeated the canard (favoured by Donald Trump) [ severe conflating ] about the turbines killing birds. Though, unlike Trump [ ! ], Saint Bob didn’t say the turbines cause cancer, so that’s something.”

    Bob says something  …

    “”… The Australian, and other right-wing activists, have arced* up over my Hobart Mercury opinion piece to draw public attention to the proposed biggest wind farm in the Southern Hemisphere, on Tasmania’s Robbins Island. Please have a read here.

    If you are wanting to know more, or are considering a letter to whichever media, here are some points to take into account:

    – the opinion piece served its purpose of raising mainstream public debate about this colossal project. There was none beforehand.
    – information, as Jefferson said, is the currency of democracy.
    – the Franklin Dam was to produce renewable energy but I opposed that too.
    – even right-wing activists think we should be selective about sites for coal or nuclear power stations, so why not wind turbines?
    – scientists have repeatedly backed wind farms but called for them not to be constructed across bird migratory routes.
    – after energy efficiency, renewables are best, but not regardless.
    – there is a global extinction crisis and this project will kill birds.
    – there are alternative renewable energy sites but not alternative bird species. Check out that shortlist of threatened species in the article.
    – the environment impact study (EIS) should be independent and assess prudent and feasible alternatives.
    – Robbins Island is on a beautiful Tasmanian coastline which will be transmogrified by these by these massive mills.
    – a causeway is needed to service the island project, as are its transmission lines and a new Bass Strait cable to take the full electricity load to the mainland. Where are the EISs and who pays? – there are more than 80 wind farms in Australia that I have not criticised though some are contentious.
    – I would also oppose solar panels on the Opera House or 200m high wind turbines on the Eureka Tower.
    – the electricity will go to the mainland, the profits largely overseas, but Tasmania gets all of the environmental damage.
    – The Australian Wind Alliance says that ‘climate change will kill more birds than wind farm turbines’ but not how many birds will be killed by having THIS giant wind farm as against not having it – or putting it where it’s not across bird migration routes.
    – Where’s their science on this?
    ~end bb email~
    “Tasmanians have a right to know much more about the Robbins Island development. It is a huge resource extraction venture which will be lighting up no Tasmanian homes. Beyond the indisputable environmental losses, what is the guaranteed money this giant venture is returning to the state of Tasmania as against UPC’s foreign stakeholders?”
    – Bob Brown


    I’d love to see the evaluation which took into account the points above. Wouldn’t you?

    I have to admit, after all the othe points above, visually and spacialy wind turbines are imo, a blight, and I agree that the “beautiful Tasmanian coastline [ strikeout ‘which’ ] will be transmogrified by these by these massive mills.”

    UPC and Caffyn are capable and building a global presence. As Bob B says: “what is the guaranteed money this giant venture is returning to the state of Tasmania as against UPC’s foreign stakeholders?” Smith9? Any clues?

    “initially with G.E. Capital, Heller Financial and UPC. Mr. Caffyn served as an Executive Managing Director of Creat Resources Holdings Limited (formerly, Zeehan ZInc. Limited) since June 26, 2007. He founded First Wind Energy Company in 1996, Mr. Caffyn has successfully completed some of the largest wind energy projects ever financed while overseeing the development and operation of over 750 MW of operating wind energy projects. He is founder of Wind City Inc. He founded First Wind Holdings, Inc. and served as its Chairman. He founded and served as Chairman of First Wind Energy LLC (UPC Wind Partners, L.L.C). He serves as the Chairman of the Board of UPC Solar Management, LLC. Mr. Caffyn served as the Chairman of Solar Integrated Technologies, Inc. since December 2006. Mr. Caffyn serves as a Director or Partner in the following companies or partnerships includes…” and lists about 50+ companies. From GE capital to Ribbbin Isl. All conveniently seperated for best use of capital and tax globally.

  4. I’d go for better looking wind turbines. Ones that play off natural green beauty, that the birds can see, that will barely hurt them if they ran into them, and that are in any case would be more effective than the three-blade-blight. Plus I’d give zero interest loans for any land-owner to set up his wind and electricity generation locally so long as he was also investing in power storage. Big business should come out of small business success. And big wind ought to grow out of small wind success. Zero interest loans don’t screw with price mechanisms. Unjust enrichment can be avoided if land holders have to offload chunks of land, in order to take advantage of transformative zero interest loan schemes.

  5. Bob Brown responds to his critics and of course, he’s quite right;

    “Hard on the heels of Lloyd’s article was a request for an interview from Melbourne’s 3AW for its afternoon drive program with Tom Elliott. But Elliott was not prepared for some questions in return. I asked him if he supported solar power, which he did. I asked if he would put solar panels over the Opera House. He said he probably would. It was the classic moment of a right-wing activist putting imprudence in front of his determination, in order not to be seen dissembling. I hope no one in Sydney reads about his plan for their World Heritage icon. Elliott’s thinking should also leave room for a couple of windmills working wonders on the arch of the Harbour Bridge.”


  6. Ha ha ha. Great to see old Bob turning the tables like that. I think we can have artificial aesthetically pleasing energy production alongside nature. But not with these 3-blade eyesores. See these right-wingers, and the others as well I would say, are not focused on holistic solutions to ecological and energy problems. Peoples time-lines are too short. Here the right just wants to point-score against our distinguished elder lefty statesman Bob.

    Currently our agriculture destroys soil, releases carbon, and turns energy into bad food. We want an agriculture that creates soil, inters carbon in that soil, churns out nutrient dense organic food, and produces surplus energy for everyone else. You cannot do that without a system that tools small farmers up to the gills. I think the torpor on the right and the panic on the left are both a little bit unproductive. There is not the vision of where we want to go. Which should be biased towards perennials, silvopasture and the whole of the land as being an energy resource.

    We might want to start off with a scheme that gets rid of any taxes for retained earnings away from our sole trader farmers. But telegraph that eventually there will be land tax with a threshold. But this land tax can be delayed delayed delayed if the really big guys sell off a chunk of their holdings every so often. At the same time you have your zero interest lending scheme for tree-planting, the move to organics, earthworks for swales, ponds, dams, terraces and for hydro, wind-farms, wood-gas, oil production for on-farm fuel, and so forth. Plant oils can never compete with hydro-carbons on the international market. But they can compete just for on-farm use where there is a group of local farmers pooling resources.

    Aesthetics should be a big part of the outcome of all this. As well as biodiversity. In permaculture farms the more species you are farming the more support you are offering to non-farm life. Bill Mollison reckoned that the birds that came onto his farm were more daring with phosphates then he would ever be. He reckoned that he could not find a leaf from his sweet potato that the birds hadn’t crapped on.

    There is this idea of the food chain which turns out to be very misleading. Its an idea that you start with net primary production and every level of life depletes that. In this story its good energy management for the rest of us to eat the plants. But biology doesn’t work like that and more evidence is coming in that all life pulls energy from light and from the earths electrical field. So that an abundance of life, well-managed, feeds on itself. It just gets more and more abundant the more levels of plants and animals you place on it. Although the management has to cull things down to prevent total succession with just tree over-story.

  7. Everyone knew that with the first post didn’t they rog? I got triggered under this handle and thrown off after a warning. It was 100% my fault. The ban must have been lifted.

    The thinking used to be that net primary production was based on photo-synthesis alone. So the thinking was that the energy component of all of nature was basically derived from a thin sliver of the light spectrum …. ultra-violet light in particular. The new findings are coming particularly from water science and from this idea of structured or “exclusion zone” water. Which is a kind of patterned H3O2. Which can be generated by light, all the way down to red and infra-red.

    If an organism were unable to draw energy from the earths electrical field, then somewhere along the line organisms would develop such a talent, and displace those that didn’t. Plus we see that if you have a person lying on an earthing sheet a charge develops on his blood cells and if they were bunched they now tend to separate and can move down the thinnest of capilliaries single file. This all takes energy and in fact our understanding of the energy behind blood circulation has to change. Every route for blood to travel in the body, laid end to end would go around the world three times. Its not credible that the pumping of the heart could produce this result on its own, with such a notoriously viscous and sticky fluid. Its more an electrical phenomenon like a series of maglev tracks.

    All this is to say that in nature, for all practical purposes, there simply is not the energy limitation we thought there was. Its not just UV energy conversion to carbohydrates driving all things. Every species seems to add to the energy of the system. As witnessed by the terrific yields you get out of a setup like Joel Salatins polyface farms and Sepp Holzers Kramertehof. Sepp Holzers setup almost makes people like me weep for the sheer joy of it all.

    Bill Mollison once said that the people who do these energy calculations for subsoil life concluded that the subsoil life must spend most of its time asleep, because otherwise this energy could not be accounted for. This is not really credible and I think the circle is about to be squared with this better understanding of where life’s energy is coming from.

    It used to be thought that solar power was the best since nature is largely green and the solar panels are black. Therefore the black surface had more potential to harvest energy. Well energy resources are more complementary than competitive but with this better understanding of the energy that nature sources I’d swing in Mother Natures direction. I’d want to see if we could make solar roads (when we cannot put the roads underground) and solar roof tiles. In my view of things taking up good land for solar …. Well its a very fine thing for the moment, but its not the ultimate destination as to where I would want to take things.

  8. I watched at school. Did you see it at school or at home?

    Apollo 11 Moon Walk live: Real-time stream of man’s first steps on the Moon | ABC News

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