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.

11 thoughts on “Sandpit

  1. Keep a look out for the shonky and dirty deals that will go on with the building of Badgerys creek airport. 2 groups oppose this terrible airport (NoBca) western Suburbs group and RAWSA (Blue Mountains). Residentsaround Sydney have the protection of a curfe, flight caps and flight paths over the ocean. WSA will have NONE of these! Badgerys will operate 24/7 NO CURFEW. Snia Bennett. Member of NoBca.

  2. The Badgerys Creek airport, if finished, is likely to be a huge white elephant. Of course, there is still a push to build it as corporate capitalism excels in building useless things. The goal is not things useful for the bulk of the people nor things sustainable with respect to the planet.The goal is the differential accumulation of capital by corporations and oligarchs. The point of accumulating capital is power. Capital (as money, financial instruments and capitalized value) is an instantiation of power. Money does not measure value. It instantiates power and does so via the prescribed rituals of capitalist property law and financial calculations. Capital is a mode of power (not the only mode) in the current system. See the website “Capital as Power”.

    I believe the age of mass air travel is over. Thus, my statement above that Badgerys Creek airport is likely to be a huge white elephant. The world is being changed profoundly by climate change and all its knock-on effects including sea level rise and emerging zoonotic diseases. The current downturn in international travel is very likely to prove permanent. The collapse of security around the world (strategic security, food security and energy security) will render the world largely unsafe for travel and its people largely unable to afford travel. If we returned to travel at the rate applying before the COVID-19 crisis, we would simply further accelerate the climate change crisis we are failing to stop anyway.

  3. The evidence I see suggests the Western Sydney Airport at Badgerys Creek is already a white elephant, well before it begins operations.

    US petroleum geologist Art Berman tweeted on Feb 16 (with attached graph for world crude oil + condensate production from Jan 2000 to Jan 2021):

    “World crude oil + condensate production has returned to 2005-2011 plateau.
    Almost all incremental supply growth since 2011 is from the United States.”

    Art Berman tweeted on Feb 12 (with attached graph for US oil production from historical data beginning from 1900 to present, plus Berman’s possible outlook to 2050):

    “My forecast modified from AEO 2021:
    US oil production unlikely to regain 2019 peak of 12 mmb/d.
    Average 2022 output of 10.2 mmb/d expected to increase to 11.4 mmb/d in 2027 and then decline to 8.5 mmb/d by 2050.”

    Has global peak oil supply passed? Hallock et. al. projections are so far shockingly accurate – See Figure 5:

    While the COVID-19 crisis suppresses global oil demand, petroleum prices will likely remain subdued. When demand begins to pick up and supply falters, as it inevitably will, price shocks will likely manifest. Then the proverbial will hit the fan.

    See also Matt’s excellent analyses at:

    Where’re the petroleum fuel supplies coming from to sustain aviation long-term? Failing that, where’re the mature, rapidly deployable, zero/low GHG emissions technologies for medium to long-range, heavy aviation?

    I’d suggest governments, businesses, and media are apparently blind and/or wilfully ignorant to these inconvenient questions.

  4. Sydney KSA is the biggest single employment site in Sydney (around 100,000 people work there in and around there in one capacity or another). And Sydney Airport is only 1.5 metres above sea level and exposed to storms. Whatever the fate of aviation (it it is unlikely to collapse totally), it will need to be shifted.

    That does not mean Badgery’s Creek is the best answer.

  5. Peter Thomson,
    Do you have a reference that confirms “Sydney Airport is only 1.5 metres above sea level”?

    SYD – Sydney Kingsford Smith, NSW, 33°56′46″S 151°10′38″E, elevation above mean sea
    level (AMSL) 6 m

    ADL – Adelaide, SA, 34°56′42″S 138°31′50″E, elevation AMSL 6 m

    LEA – Learmonth, WA, 22°14′09″S 114°05′19″E, elevation AMSL 6 m

    The airport that’s at greater risk of sea level rise and storm surges is Brisbane Airport.

    BNE – Brisbane, QLD, 27°23′00″S 153°07′06″E, elevation AMSL 0.3 m (presumably for older runway)
    The adopted level of the new parallel runway is 5.0 m.

    Click to access SS16_Brisbane_airports_new_runway.pdf

  6. Geoff

    Only a memory from when I worked on various projects around it, so you are more likely right. Mind you, 6 metres in a high tide with a storm surge is not a comforyable margin.

  7. There seems to have been a change in the profit center for world airlines. The pandemic caused airlines to change their attitude to freight delivery systems. Reports of airlines tearing out seats to accommodate more freight may just turn out to be more than a temporary measure. If global tourist numbers do not recover to pre 2020 levels, airlines may convert airplanes to freight only delivery systems. With internet shopping now so popular around the world, the global freight volumes (to various countries/ continents) have increased dramatically over 2020. If this becomes a permanent change, then the cost/benefits of air freight may change in favor of a dominance of freight over passengers. It may be that there will come a time when the add on to most air travel manifests are late minute travelers; and not last minute emergency freight. The reports out of China suggest that they are insisting on ,intrusive COVID19 tests before allowing foreigners to enter ports at international airline terminals. Thus the return of large scale tourist visits, via air travel, may be an unrealistic assumption of any prediction of a snap back for global tourism.

  8. Gregory, we can but hope. Although less air freight is also to be hoped for – far too much of it could easily travel by sea. But that option isn’t even offered by a lot of sellers 😦

  9. On this International Day for Women has anybody read or heard who financed the “Ditch the Witch” campaign against Julia Gillard? It was too organised to be a grass roots campaign, somebody or some organisation funded it and well. It is hard for me to find something that stirs the revulsion in me more than the pictures of Abbott and Co standing before those signs. Bit players in a cesspool.

  10. Empirical data out of Europe is suggesting that the predilection of largely male dominated governments to use construction projects, to restore economic growth after the pandemic, is helping male workers more than female workers. The research data suggests that a bigger focus on subsidizing labor unit entry into care industries can do much to lower the female unemployment rate and encourage more women to join the workforce in 2021.

  11. Just got the first AstraZeneca shot. Seemed worth mentioning since there is another round of rather weird AstraZeneca scare making the round and a previous post of mine might have fuelled a previous round. Emotionally it is a huge relief. All data suggests strongly my own risk as well as the risk that I might hurt others will be largely reduced in about two weeks after the first shot already.

    It is such an anti-climax: Got to go into deep self listening mode to find anything that might be a minor side effect. Before there was all this drama: First, listening to so many people with emotion only fears of AstraZeneca in particular or vaccines in general. Second listening to doctors who just were not up to date with at that point three weak old changes in the prioritizing law and thus did not want to certify my (or at first anyone’s) eligibility.

    Sometimes it pays off to have an otherwise useless high level of generalist formal education, with no chance to ever work in a job that requires it. Most people in my situation would have a) trusted the doctors’ authority to get it right even when it feels very incoherent with what you’d been reading in other sources including the legal code b) odds are no one would have listened to me, even if I had worked up the courage to point it out. Not to mention that if I had been worse and those an even more clear-cut case at the moment, there would have been no chance for me to handle it.

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