A new sandpit for long side discussions, conspiracy theories, idees fixes and so on.

To be clear, the sandpit is for regular commenters to pursue points that distract from regular discussion, including conspiracy-theoretic takes on the issues at hand. It’s not meant as a forum for visiting conspiracy theorists, or trolls posing as such.

13 thoughts on “Sandpit

  1. Can somebody say something about the Macquarie network who own 2gb and 2 Sm radio stations who are totally right wing in their politics and 2gb especially have been big deniers of Covid19. They are so right wing in their thinking. Also 2gb have been attacking the Queensland premier daily especilally that mongrel dog Ray Hadley. Horrible bit of crap, best thrown in the vomit bucket. I listen because I always say ‘listen to the enemy’. Its very hard to listen because of all the crap they talk about but I usully fire off an email whenever I hear them attacking anything progressive or someone who might be a bit left. The left are continually attacked, we need support to fight back. We cannot afford to be nice and fast asleep. Sonia Bennett.

  2. Sonia Bennett,
    You state: “…2gb especially have been big deniers of Covid19.”

    IMO, I’d suggest Ray Hadley and Deborah Knight are definitely not “big deniers of Covid19”. I haven’t heard enough of the other ‘personalities’ to comment.

    IMO, I’d suggest the bigger problem at Radio 2GB is the apparent near consistent and ongoing themes of pro-fossil fuels, pro-nuclear, anti-renewable energy, endless growth and consumption, and climate science denial.
    IMO, in essence, 2GB is promoting and facilitating incorrect pathways that the evidence I see likely leads to the unintended ‒ I hope it’s unintended, otherwise if it’s intended, it would be evil ‒ consequence of civilisation collapse.

    Sometimes there are surprises, like Money News presenter Brooke Corte interviewing Bruce Robertson from IEEFA on Sep 30 on “Will Santos’ $3.6 billion Narrabri gas project deliver cheaper energy?”

    From my experience, the penalty for contacting 2GB on the ‘open line’ is unsolicited phone calls trying to sell you stuff later. And if your view is contrary to the presenter’s views, you’re unlikely to get on air anyway.

  3. Yes agree 2gb are climate deniers and pro fossil. But thats what the right wing are. As someone who lives in Western Sydney one of the biggest issues out here is the monster airport the government have given the okay to build out at Badgerys Creek. We got two groups opposing this airport NOBca (No to Badgerys creek airport, western Suburbs group) and RAWSA(Residents against Western Sydney Airport, Blue Smountains group). We are still keeping up the rage and very angry that this will be a 24/7 NO CURFEW airport. We insist on a curfew but have been ignored. This airport will cost over $9 billion and more to build. It has destroyed 1180 hectares of the rare and endangered Cumberland Plains Woodlands only 6 percent left. Who cares about rare bushland anymore. Majority of people don’t even know the difference between a native plant and an exotic. They have got the people well and truely living in la, la land and the majority don’t even know that there will be an airport built on their doorstep. People have been kept in the dark about this airport and we will get a 24/7 NO CURFEW airport. Even the left have bern very quiet about this airport. The Greens are about the only ones who support us. Sonia Bennett

  4. Sonia Bennett,
    I’d suggest the Western Sydney Airport at Badgerys Creek will be a “stranded asset” before it becomes operational.

    A post- ‘peak oil’ world has been accelerated by COVID-19.
    I don’t see large-scale, affordable alternatives to petroleum-based aviation on the horizon.
    I’d suggest the days of cheap flights are over.

    Matt says: “The problem we have since the 2008 oil price shock is that oil prices must be both affordable to consumers AND high enough for the oil industry to survive.”

    Before COVID-19, world oil production growth had depended on US tight oil. US oil production is in the process of contracting.

  5. I don’t see it that way. Peak oil has kicked in. But notice how even though there is less oil production this doesn’t necessarily lead to higher prices. If oil barrel prices are up in the 90’s then the hydrocarbon companies are doing okay but the economies are tanking. So cheaper prices are on the horizon. If oil prices are down in the 30’s and 40’s the economies are likely to gain momentum, but all these hydro-carbon companies are losing money hand over fist.

    Supposing subsidies to renewables and opposition to hydrocarbon usage is strengthened. All that would likely mean is that the countries that aren’t engaged in these subsidies, or can’t afford them, take up the extra hydro-carbon production at a lower price. Or the countries making the renewables use more hydrocarbons.

    So if you look at the industry in its totality I don’t think we get from this that Western Sydney becomes a stranded asset. Once its open people on that side of town will probably use it so as not to face lining up with virus producing others.

    There is a real feeling of loss in my view that the Americans and others didn’t have the good sense to put a much stiffer tax on petrol (“gasoline”) from the sixties onwards. All these supernormal profits could have been taxed away and it would have been a lot better for everyone that they were. Sixty years of lost opportunity.

    The Jevons paradox to energy usage isn’t the be all and end all. But its useful to have it in mind when you are making these predictions.

  6. There is a new super efficient six seater design for a jet out there. Even though its a six seater its so energy efficient it should be able to compete with modern jets. But to accommodate the widespread use of such a vehicle (should its use take off) it will be kind of nice to have a bit of extra airport space. I would suggest breaking the near airport monopoly and having extra capacity … these are good things whether flight use grows of slowly declines. Its just a good thing on first principles.

    They are big rentiers and ticket clippers over at the Sydney airport. Pampered monopolists. If we are going to privatise these things, and I don’t think we should, but if we are going to lets do it in the context of oversupply. Even if we have privatised some of our airports its good to have some public ones just to keep the brigands honest. Better still never privatise them. The revenues that come from these selloffs turns out to be fools gold under close inspection.

  7. I agree, on all counts. The days of cheap flights are over or should be. Indeed, to prevent catastrophic climate change, it will be necessary to make permanent the COVID-19 enforced shut-downs of airline tourism, cruise ship tourism and excess road tourism.

    The right wing bleat about left wing propaganda (the tiny amount of it that actually exists in Australia) while they dominate the main stream media and many other platforms. It’s like a man with a bullhorn complaining that a person whispering with limited vocal chords is making too much noise.

    Hopefully, those mega airports like coal mines will become stranded assets. Government, of any persuasion, must resist all calls to bail out investors in assets which become stranded. The investors absolutely deserve to lose their money without recompense for (a) a bad investment decision and (b) investing in biosphere destroying industries.

  8. We will see regarding flights. Short to mid distance flights might work decently with batteries in two decades or so. Maybe synthetic fuels will also work out at price levels similar to the ones right now (inflation adjusted). The energy input should be no major problem at that point with pv price levels, the planes should also work out. Don’t know about the conversion technology. Would also think the long distance flight price levels are not that cheap right now, if you consider the average price paid per passenger, not the cheapest offer on

  9. hix,
    You state: “Short to mid distance flights might work decently with batteries in two decades or so.”

    Short distance flights: under 600 ‒ 800 nautical miles (nmi) (1,111 ‒ 1,482 km), or under 3 hours
    Mid distance flights: 600 ‒ 800 nmi to 2,200 ‒ 2,600 nmi (4,074 ‒ 4,815 km), or 3 ‒ 6 hours
    Long distance flights: above 2,200 ‒ 2,600 nmi, or more than 6 hours
    See Wikipedia: “Flight length”

    Short distance flights might work decently with batteries soon. I’d suggest mid and long distance flights on batteries are probably wishful thinking – we’ll see. Hybrid turbofan engines with new electric propulsor systems might be more suitable for mid to long distance flights.

    But is a two decade time-frame for an aviation transition fast enough for a) climate change mitigation, and b) a post- ‘peak oil’ supply world?
    See my comments at:

    You also state: “Maybe synthetic fuels will also work out at price levels similar to the ones right now (inflation adjusted).”

    It depends on what you mean by “synthetic fuels”?
    Synthetic fuels can be sourced from:
    * coal-to-liquids (CTLs);
    * fossil gas-to-liquids (GTLs);
    * biomass to hydrocarbon liquid fuels – aka biofuels;
    * power-to-liquids (P2L) direct air capture (DAC) + water to hydrocarbon liquid fuels.

    I’d suggest CTLs and GTLs don’t assist in mitigating dangerous climate change, plus there’s a near-term resource depletion problem particularly with fossil gas supply – I’d suggest the current petroleum oil and fossil gas supply glut is temporary.

    Biofuels cannot replace petroleum at a national scale, due to factors that include fatal petroleum-dependence, poor energy return on investment (EROI), low energy density, abysmal power density, huge water footprint, demonstrable food competition regardless of feedstock, increased environmental damage, promotion of land confiscation and human rights violations, and the supreme irony of increased lifecycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

    I’d suggest P2L synthetic fuels still have a long way to go before large-scale deployment (if ever).
    See the European Commission Group of Chief Scientific Advisors Scientific Opinion titled “Novel
    carbon capture and utilisation technologies, dated May 2018:

  10. When listening to a story or an explination one sometimes hears details that do not sound true.  I would refer to a detai that seems highly unlikely as a fed flag.  Well one should not jump to the conclusion that the detail is false.  There could be a plausible explination for this apparent discrepency, if the detail seems minor, or red flag if seems like a major fault in the story. 

    But if you hear a story in which 3 or 4 or 5 or 6 red flags are raised the plausible explinations for all of these red flags no longer cut it.  Why, because a plausible explinaiton is not always a true explinaiton. Therefore a story or explination in which numerous red flags are raised is not likely to be a true story no matter who or how many people are telling it.  Furthermore if a person can demonstrate that even one of the red flag explinations is wrong the chances that the other explinations given to explain implausible parts of a story are wrong INCREASE. 

    This information should be kept close at heand when ever one listens to economic explinaitions. 

  11. Was mainly thinking hydrogen. Either way, I don´t think flying a lot less and with almost everyone seated Ryanair style would have much negative impact on living standard either.

  12. hix,
    You state: “Was mainly thinking hydrogen.”

    Unfortunately, liquified hydrogen (LH2) as an aviation fuel is not “drop-in”, meaning much of the aviation infrastructure (i.e. new aircraft, new airport facilities, new hydrogen production, storage and transport) would need to be changed to accommodate it, which I’d suggest makes it unattractive.

    To exist as a liquid, hydrogen (H2) must be cooled below 33 K (-240.15 °C), and to exist fully as a liquid at atmospheric pressure H2 needs to be cooled to 20.28 K (-252.87 °C).

    Per a 2009 conference paper on aviation and alternative “non-drop-in” fuels:
    “2.7 Hydrogen offers a high energy density per mass, hence promising payload or range increase for aircraft. However, for aviation, hydrogen will have to be cooled down to the liquid state (LH2, [-]253°C), for reasons of volume and weight of tanks. Hydrogen ([L]H2) needs 4 times a greater volume than kerosene and the tanks in terms of insulation or pressure resistance would need to be redesigned and would no longer be able to be integrated in the airframe wings. The use of this technology has been envisaged for a small or standard regional aircraft as well as for unconventional aircraft types. The specific energy consumption is estimated to be 8 to 15% higher than with conventional fuel.”

    “…most liquid hydrogen aircraft designs store the fuel in the fuselage, leading to a larger fuselage length and diameter than a conventional kerosene fuelled aircraft. This lowers the performance due to the extra wetted area of the fuselage. The larger fuselage size causes more skin friction drag and wave drag. On the other hand, hydrogen is about one-third of the weight of kerosene jet-fuel for the same amount of energy.”

    You then state: “Either way, I don´t think flying a lot less and with almost everyone seated Ryanair style would have much negative impact on living standard either.”

    Is that wishful thinking, or have you done costing?
    Have you thought about airfreight, hix? I’d suggest more expensive fuels means more expensive flights means more expensive airfreight. I’d suggest perhaps (I may be wrong) more expensive airfreight could have a significantly greater effect/reach on living standards compared with discretionary people movement. Would JQ have an evidence-based view on this?

  13. “I’d suggest perhaps (I may be wrong) more expensive airfreight could have a significantly greater effect/reach on living standards compared with discretionary people movement.”

    Yes its all about cargo. Most discussion and policy seems to be about people transport. But our well-being is mostly about freight transport.

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