9 thoughts on “The Drum

  1. Thank you for reporting the fin articles from Aaron Patrick. I am very interested in the topic and was wondering bout some things.

    First I have uni now so I haven’t looked into your links but I was wondering if you had any references you could share on the topic beyond what was in the article.

    Second, how possible is it to meet the counties demand in 10 years with only renewable. As the greens claim.

    Third, how quickly could reactors serve our country if they began now?

    And more, but I am very late…

  2. Thanks for the notice. Will look out.

    Would be great to have carbon pricing and finally break the link between economic growth and carbon emissions. Best wishes!

  3. Fantastic interview. Even those who disagreed welcomed “the provocation” and I think much of the conservative audience would have felt the same way. Note that the Professor always said “renewables and storage” in the same sentence. Awesome.

  4. @Trevor In my submission, I gave 2035 as the earliest possible date for nuclear . That’s very optimistic. It would be hard to get to 100 per cent renewable by 2030, especially adding electric vehicles to the mix, but we could certainly replace most coal by then, and completely decarbonize electricity supply in the 2030s.

  5. Trevor McKnight : see Blakers *****re100.eng.anu.edu.au/resources/assets/1708BlakersREAust.pdf

  6. I am getting very doubtful about the wisdom of JQ’s play. The prize is to peel off some conservative pro-nuclear people to support a carbon tax, which most of us here agree would be a Good Thing. But pragmatically:

    1. It is very unlikely that enough persuadable people in the target group exist to make a decisive difference to introducing the tax.
    2. The target group know very well that JQ is a longstanding (and entirely correct) sceptic on the economic feasibility of new nuclear plants. There is no bad faith because he is upfront about this, but the other side know JQ is making a debating point rather than a policy proposal he fully stands behind. This reduces the already low chances of pulling it off.
    3. The proposal risks opening a wound in his own camp of climate realists. This has two views on nuclear: palaeo-greens who oppose it because of waste disposal, safety and proliferation; and climate green converts like JQ (and me) who oppose it as a colossal waste of money. The divide is harmless as long as we just stick to opposition. It’s not at all harmless if the conversos dangle a deal in the face of conservatives that they can have their pet reactors as long as they concede a carbon tax. Most palaeo-greens dislike the tax anyway as useless and a concession of the moral high ground, and would not value a win on the issue very highly.

    The pros and cons depend on the political balance of forces, and obviously I’m no expert on Australian politics. But from where I sit there is a lot to be said for keeping mum and letting nuclear expire naturally from the negative learning curve. Two much more politically savvy people than me, Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris, have decided to ignore nuclear completely in their climate manifestos. Biden just says he’ll waste more money on SMR research. Sanders has typically stuck his neck out and said “no nuclear”: and is facing indignant blowback from tech bros, a constituency that is his to lose.

  7. Correction: on Warren’s position, I was going by her blog post of 2 days ago. But yesterday in the CNN town hall, she joined Bernie in calling for a ban on new nuclear construction. This is operationally quite pointless, but shows her priority is to peel off Sanders’ supporters rather than Biden’s, who is slowly imploding without her intervention.

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