Monday Message Board

Back again with another Monday Message Board.

Post comments on any topic. Civil discussion and no coarse language please. Side discussions and idees fixes to the sandpits, please. If you would like to receive my (hopefully) regular email news, please sign up using the following link.


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40 thoughts on “Monday Message Board

  1. “”The news that a well-known study on dishonesty was based on a lie is, as ironies go, almost too perfect.”Chronical of Higher Ed below.

    Replication,  data generation and oops! Another tenet checked out of the tent.

    My bias toward giving humans the benefit of doubt allowed me to accept most people would be more honest when asked or monitored. Note to self – grow up! “Signing at the beginning versus at the end does not decrease dishonesty” (.htm).” [98] below.

    I now have more questions than answers. See also QALY, VSL etc.
    ****

    “A Dishonest Study on Dishonesty Puts a Prominent Researcher on the Hot Seat

    By Tom Bartlett
    AUGUST 27, 2021

    “Dan Ariely, professor of psychology and behavioral economics at Duke U.

    “The news that a well-known study on dishonesty was based on a lie is, as ironies go, almost too perfect. The study, published in 2012, purports to show that people are more likely to tell the truth on insurance forms when they pledge to be honest before filling them out. It’s a beautifully simple finding, and one with countless practical applications. It’s also, apparently, bunk.”…
    https://www.chronicle.com/article/a-dishonest-study-on-dishonesty-puts-a-prominent-researcher-on-the-hot-seat
    *

    “[98] Evidence of Fraud in an Influential Field Experiment About Dishonesty

    “In 2012, Shu, Mazar, Gino, Ariely, and Bazerman published a three-study paper in PNAS (.htm) reporting that dishonesty can be reduced by asking people to sign a statement of honest intent before providing information (i.e., at the top of a document) rather than after providing information (i.e., at the bottom of a document). In 2020, Kristal, Whillans, and the five original authors published a follow-up in PNAS entitled, “Signing at the beginning versus at the end does not decrease dishonesty” (.htm).  They reported six studies that failed to replicate the two original lab studies, including one attempt at a direct replication and five attempts at conceptual replications.

    “Our focus here is on Study 3 in the 2012 paper, a field experiment (N = 13,488) conducted by an auto insurance company in the southeastern United States under the supervision of the fourth author”.
    https://datacolada.org/98
    ****

  2. US Ivy League Brown University calculated that the US has spent $8 trillion on the war on terror since 9/11 .Thats $1.1 billion per day for 20 years .On the desperately cobbled together plus side a few ‘major’ attacks have been prevented since. I wonder if those attacks would not even have been planned if those trillions had been better spent. I also wonder if those high value American lives lost on 9/11 are the most mourned and consequential group lost in human history .Maybe not, there would be a few contenders for that title but they would have to be on the list.

    ABC radio quoted Gladdys Berejiklian saying that she would attend the daily press conference ” when I feel the need to be accountable ” !

  3. Benjamin M. Friedman is “Currently … a member of the Committee on Capital Markets Regulation.”. Wikipedia

    The list of members is astounding … What a scarily heavyweight committee!  Vampire squids to daylight.

    How do we vote JQ on to the…
    “Committee on Capital Markets Regulation

    “The Committee on Capital Markets Regulation is an independent and nonpartisan 501(c)(3) research organization financed by contributions from individuals, foundations, and corporations.”
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Committee_on_Capital_Markets_Regulation
    ****

    Not THAT Friedman.

    ” ‘Religion and the Rise of Capitalism’
    Theology’s Invisible Hand”

    “Benjamin M. Friedman is a macroeconomist at Harvard who has nurtured a lifelong interest in intellectual history. ”

    “The book makes a wonderfully novel claim about the influence of religion on the unreligious genius of Adam Smith. Today, when so many have come to believe the historical error that science developed in opposition to religion,  [ Benjamin M.] Friedman’s argument is refreshing.”…
    https://www.commonwealmagazine.org/theologys-invisible-hand

  4. How ‘green’ is so-called “Blue Hydrogen”?

    Professors Robert Howarth and Mark Jacobson took a scientific look and produced a paper titled How green is blue hydrogen?, published on Aug 12 in the journal Energy Science & Engineering. It’s open access. The abstract includes (bold text my emphasis):

    Hydrogen is often viewed as an important energy carrier in a future decarbonized world. Currently, most hydrogen is produced by steam reforming of methane in natural gas (“gray hydrogen”), with high carbon dioxide emissions. Increasingly, many propose using carbon capture and storage to reduce these emissions, producing so-called “blue hydrogen,” frequently promoted as low emissions. We undertake the first effort in a peer-reviewed paper to examine the lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions of blue hydrogen accounting for emissions of both carbon dioxide and unburned fugitive methane. Far from being low carbon, greenhouse gas emissions from the production of blue hydrogen are quite high, particularly due to the release of fugitive methane. For our default assumptions (3.5% emission rate of methane from natural gas and a 20-year global warming potential), total carbon dioxide equivalent emissions for blue hydrogen are only 9%-12% less than for gray hydrogen. While carbon dioxide emissions are lower, fugitive methane emissions for blue hydrogen are higher than for gray hydrogen because of an increased use of natural gas to power the carbon capture. Perhaps surprisingly, the greenhouse gas footprint of blue hydrogen is more than 20% greater than burning natural gas or coal for heat and some 60% greater than burning diesel oil for heat, again with our default assumptions. In a sensitivity analysis in which the methane emission rate from natural gas is reduced to a low value of 1.54%, greenhouse gas emissions from blue hydrogen are still greater than from simply burning natural gas, and are only 18%-25% less than for gray hydrogen. Our analysis assumes that captured carbon dioxide can be stored indefinitely, an optimistic and unproven assumption. Even if true though, the use of blue hydrogen appears difficult to justify on climate grounds.

    https://doi.org/10.1002/ese3.956

    Also check out the YouTube video titled Blue Hydrogen. The greatest fossil fuel scam in history?, published on Sep 5, duration 15:42:

  5. The neoliberal betrayal of the Australian people has reached new heights. In the past, the Australian neoliberals played the game of wedge politics and selective compensation. Poor and powerless sections of the population were wedged off and kept poor and powerless: black people, unemployed people, people with disabilities, different gender identities and so on. The selective compensation was applied to those wedged apart from the poor/powerless; those who were entitled and favored and whose votes could be bought with selective compensation.

    Most of these people were and are white, Anglo-saxon, English speakers in the large baby boomer cohort (like me) and the depression generation / war generation cohort; parents of the baby boomers sometimes called the Silent Generation as people born from 1928 to 1945. Many of the “Silents’ have already passed away and of course their voting patterns have passed with them. The Baby boomers largely remain and whether from the working class, middle class, upper middle class or the rich they have been selectively compensated, especially in retirement, with middle class welfare and welfare for the rich. This selective compensation process ensured their vote was bought and remained bought for the conservative side of politics.

    This process is now breaking down. The neoliberal betrayal of the people and of common weal(th) values, that is common-good values, proceeds apace and spreads into classes who previously had considered themselves immune to neoliberal neglect (which they only saw as keeping the undeserving and the different in their “proper” place). The already established middle class is shrinking, partly by wealth loss and also by already beginning to die off. But new middle class formation is not taking place, just as new household formation by young adults largely fails to take place under neoliberal economics. It is now much harder for young 20s to 30s people to enter the middle class and achieve dwelling ownership. Middle class recruitment is down. This could change voting patterns.

    In addition, it appears baby boomers are currently beginning to experience new levels of neglect which they may at first find surprising and even shocking. Their selective compensation gravy train ride is coming to an end. This is consistent with the expansion of neoliberalism. New targets for cost cutting must always be found. The neoliberal process must continue until the 0.1% of the very rich are even richer and concomitantly the rest of the population are much poorer. The Silent generation and Boomer generation are now beginning to see their comfort, security and expectations begin to seriously fray around the edges. They are even beginning to suffer and die at higher rates from neglect, especially nursing home neglect, from the COVID-19 let it rip strategy and the seriously delayed or lowered access to elective surgeries, again due to “COVID-19-let-it-rip” strategies.

    These problems begin to be noticeable even from age 60 and above where over 60s (other than the privileged rich and the seriously sneaky), as over 60s, are being discriminated against by being given no vaccine choice, and their doctors are being given no professional prescription discretion in respect of their patients, even as vaccine supply issues ease. Other people, who have long suffered discrimination could justifiably say, “Welcome to our world, you privileged white f***s. I understand that. Perhaps not so surprisingly many of the oppressed have more grace, tolerance and generosity than that. it is the very rich who are most often graceless, intolerant and ungenerous, along with their red-neck, brown-shirt, ignorant, denialist and manipulated neofascist shock militia.

    It will be interesting to see how voting patterns change, in a country with relatively compulsory voting like Australia),when more demographic groups begin to realize noliberalism is shifting them from a privileged and selectively compensated class to just another exploited and discarded class. Welcome to late stage neoliberalism! This is the stage were we all, except for the super rich, begin to realize we are expendable in the name of profit. We are all about to be thrown to the “wolves” of encroaching morbidity and death, and finally probably even to poverty, segment by segment, if we don’t die first.

    Opening up with high COVID-19 case numbers, with inadequate vaccination rates (of leaky vaccines as the virus rapidly mutates) and with inadequate NPIs (non pharmaceutical interventions, will throw a vast section, as much as 50% of the population, to the wolves, or rather to this highly contagious and dangerous virus. It potentially throws all the over 60s to the virus (rising preconditions plus rising general and normal immunosenescence), plus all the disabled and others with medical preconditions to the virus. It throws our medical, nursing and paramedical staff to the virus with inadequate PPE,inadequate ICU spaces (lack of negative pressure air-con etc.) and inadequate staff levels and funding: all chronically under-funded over many years of neoliberal maladministration.

    This IS the disaster, the compound disaster, along with the other disasters like climate change, that scientists, enlightened economists like John Quiggin, sociologists like Micheal Pusey and other scholars like John Ralston Saul, Brian Easton and Paul Pierson (if I have remembered all those names aright) have been predicting for well over 30 years.

    THIS IS IT. The sabotage and betrayal of the people and the biosphere by the monetarists, neoliberals and plutocrat capitalists comes to a head NOW. We are on a path to COMPLETE DISASTER. If anyone thinks we can survive COVID-19 times Climate Change times Neoliberal Prescriptions they have drunk so much of the neoliberal kool-aid their brain is a sloppy, kool-aid purée.

  6. JQ rhetorically asks in 2002  “Was I right?”

    A: Absolutely! 

    “Sydney Airport (SYD)
    “Performance 2021 YTD+30.34%”
    *

    “The proponents of privatisation are”

    JUNE 25, 2002
    JOHN QUIGGIN

    “The proponents of privatisation are crowing following the recent sale of Sydney Airport for $5.6b. On the other hand, writing in the Australian eight years ago, I asserted that privatisation would mean higher charges, higher taxes or both. Was I right? “…
    https://johnquiggin.com/2002/06/25/the-proponents-of-privatisation-are/
    *

    Smaug lives in Sydney. Not WA. Sydney Airport vault deposit proves it. 

    I just cannot be other than acerbic & tounge in cheek about this. See environment dept below, and

    “Airport’s pot of gold”
    By Michael West
    August 23, 2013 
    “Sydney Airport has paid no tax in the 10 years since it was privatised by the government.”…
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/airports-pot-of-gold-20130822-2segw.html

    “Sydney Airport (SYD)
    “Performance
    1 Week+5.36%
    1 Month+8.23%
    2021 YTD+30.34%
    ●☆ 1 Year+52.46% ☆
    vs Sector (1yr)+34.89%
    vs ASX 200 (1yr)+25.94%
    https://www.marketindex.com.au/asx/syd

    Soon to crystalise it’s monopoly;
    – “Sydney Airport receives third takeover bid, valued at $23.6 billion”  ABC

    Sold for $5.4bn in 2002 into private hands with monopoly power.

    Is there a term for reverse Opportunity Cost? Costly Opportunity? 

    Funded by a hole in the vault and self selected discount rate, commercial in [lack of public] confidence. And Dominic Parrott calls Mark McGowan smaug! Dom can probably see the dragon’s cave from his office. Legally.

    I suppose we will have an extra Harbor to use as a fish farm, as we get the land back in 2101 due to sea level rise. – I wonder what my great grandkids will do. I hope they have reformed the Environment Dept by then. See…

    Extreme Risk
    Gobbsmackingly, in ” the 21st century, events that now happen every 10 years would happen about every 10 days in 2100″. 

    Note: Sydney Airport Elevation Above Mean Sea Level – 6m

    But Australia’s Environment Dept uses “The 1-in-100 year event … in current planning guidelines as a benchmark for assessing extreme risk.” … 

    even though … 

    “With a mid range sea-level rise of 0.5 metres in the 21st century, events that now happen every 10 years would happen about every 10 days in 2100.”

    No worries then – for ostriches.  

    “Climate change risks to Australia’s coasts: a first pass national assessment

    “With a mid range sea-level rise of 0.5 metres in the 21st century, events that now happen every 10 years would happen about every 10 days in 2100. The current 1-in-100 year event could occur several times a year. … An even larger increase in the frequency of high sea level events would occur around Sydney, … The 1-in-100 year event is used in current planning guidelines as a benchmark for assessing extreme risk.”
    https://www.environment.gov.au/climate-change/adaptation/publications/climate-change-risks-australias-coasts
    ***

    2021 “Sydney Airport receives third takeover bid, valued at $23.6 billion”
    abc.net.au/news/2021-09-13/sydney-airport-takeover-bid-infrastructure/100456642

    Sydney Airport
    wikipedia.org/wiki/Sydney_Airport

    “crowing”
    2. (of a person) express great pride or triumph, especially in a tone of gloating satisfaction.”
    Definitions from Oxford Languages · 

  7. US Meteorologist and Climate Specialist, Jeff Berardelli, wrote an article published on 23 Dec 2020 headlined Sea-level rise from climate change could exceed the high-end projections, scientists warn, that concluded with (bold text my emphasis):

    While scientists and scientific periodicals tend to be conservative in their public projections of sea-level rise, scientists will often remark that they are concerned it may be much worse. When CBS News asked Englander what he thinks is a “realistic range” of sea-level rise by 2100, he said, “With the current global temperature level and rate of temperature increase I believe that we could get 5 to 10 feet before the end of this century.”

    While this is just one expert’s opinion, if sea-level rise even comes close to those levels, the impacts would be truly dangerous and destabilizing, dramatically reshaping nations’ coastlines and forcing hundreds of millions of people to abandon their homes. Englander says to reduce the potential impacts, it is better to be prepared for a worst-case scenario.

    “We need to begin planning and designing for that while there is time to adapt.”

    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/climate-change-rising-sea-levels-worst-case-projections/

    5 to 10 feet = 1.524 to 3.048 metres

    David Spratt at the RESET21 Forum 1: Matters of Facts: The Science of Getting It Right on Feb 2 indicated various sea level rise by 2100 scenarios from:
    * Victorian Government: 1.1 m;
    * US Government: 2.5 m (high scenario);
    * US Pentagon: 2 m;
    * Karl Braganza (BoM): Cairns inundation with storm tide + BAU high estimate: 3.08 m
    http://www.climatecodered.org/2021/02/matters-of-fact-that-we-ignore-at-our.html

    Brisbane Airport (BNE) may have a problem well before 2100.

  8. Geoff, akarog etc, today is…

    Wet wet wet Zeptojoules;
    …” by the end of this century the upper 2,000 metres of the ocean is likely to warm by 11-15 times the amount of warming observed during 2005-19.” ^1.

    Good to know. 

    And toilet traing cattle…”quicker than the toilet-training time for three- and four-year-old children” ^3.

    And 
    “That’s triple the global average, leavingmore than 120,000 properties at risk of being lost completely.”… ^4.
    *

    ^1.
    “How much will our oceans warm and cause sea levels to rise this century? We’ve just improved our estimate

    “Our analysis shows that without dramatic reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, by the end of this century the upper 2,000 metres of the ocean is likely to warm by 11-15 times the amount of warming observed during 2005-19. Water expands as it gets warmer, so this warming will cause sea levels to rise by 17-26 centimetres. This is about one-third of the total projected rise, alongside contributions from deep ocean warming, and melting of glaciers and polar ice sheets.”
    https://theconversation.com/how-much-will-our-oceans-warm-and-cause-sea-levels-to-rise-this-century-weve-just-improved-our-estimate-166417
    *

    ^2.
    “Projected ocean warming constrained by the ocean observational record

    Kewei Lyu, Xuebin Zhang & John A. Church 

    Abstract
    “The ocean absorbs most of the excess heat from anthropogenic climate change, causing global ocean warming and sea-level rise with a series of consequences for human society and marine ecosystems. While there have been ongoing efforts to address large uncertainties in future projections, to date the projected ocean warming has not been constrained by the historical observations. Here, we show that the observed ocean warming over the well-sampled Argo period (2005–2019) can constrain projections of future ocean warming and that the upper-tail projections from latest climate models with high climate sensitivities are unrealistically large. By 2081–2100, under the high-emission scenario, the upper 2,000 m of the ocean is likely (>66% probability) to warm by 1,546–2,170 ZJ relative to 2005–2019, corresponding to 17–26 cm sea-level rise from thermal expansion. Further narrowing uncertainties requires maintenance of the ocean observing system to extend the observational record.”

    Lyu, K., Zhang, X. & Church, J.A. Projected ocean warming constrained by the ocean observational record. Nat. Clim. Chang.(2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41558-021-01151-1
    *

    Introducing the Zeptojoule for energy unit used re ocean expansion due to energy absorption. 21 zeros.

    Can’t do scientific notation here so “10 to the minus 21” is denoted by zJ whilst 10 to the 21J is denoted as ZJ.
    10-21 J – zJ –  zeptojoule – 10+21J – ZJ – zettajoule

    “Zeptojoule
    The zeptojoule (zJ) is equal to one sextillionth (10−21) of one joule. 160 zJ is about one electronvolt.

    “The minimal energy needed to change a bit at around room temperature – approximately 2.75 zJ – is given by the Landauer limit.”
    See table  wikipedia.org/wiki/Joule
    *

    ^3.
    Donkeys do it in one place. Why not cows?

    Excersize – convert urine capture ro ZeptoJoules!

    “The calves received only 15 days of training and the majority learned the full set of skills within 20 to 25 urinations, which is quicker than the toilet-training time for three- and four-year-old children.”

    …” This showed us two things that weren’t known before.

    > cattle can learn to attend to their own urination reflex, because they moved to the pen when ready to use it
    > cattle will learn to withhold urination until they’re in the right place, if they’re rewarded for doing so.
    https://theconversation.com/we-managed-to-toilet-train-cows-and-they-learned-faster-than-a-toddler-it-could-help-combat-climate-change-167785
    *

    ^4.
    “Miami’s best real estate is under threat from rising sea levels, so the wealthy are moving to higher ground

    “Across Miami, it’s reached a point where it’s starting to displace long-time residents, offering a preview of what could be a survival-of-the-wealthiest world as climate change advances.

    “Building collapse could be a sign of things to come

    “All around Miami, signs of climate change are visible to the naked eye.

    “Sea levels around the region are rising an average of 9 millimetres a year, according to analysis of federal data.

    “That’s triple the global average, leavingmore than 120,000 properties at risk of being lost completely.”…
    https://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2021-09-14/miami-building-collapse-climate-change-gentrification/100376068
    *

    Wet Wet Wet 
    – With A Little Help From My Friends

  9. Jane Holton ,who is running the governments quarantine review ,just said on ABC radio that we might need quarantine for overseas arrivals for 3 or 4 more years even without new variants arising. I had assumed ‘living with covid ‘ would mean no quarantine for arrivals .It looks like we will have a combination of hotel quarantine ,purpose built facilitates made by the states ,home quarantine ,and something organised by a private company or two .Apparently there is an urgent need to get 30,000 farm workers into the country .There is a record harvest due at a time of record prices .Low immigration will put upward pressure on wages .I bet there will be some sneaky easy way for the well off to get around or through quarantine .If we are gong to need quarantine anyway why didnt the federal government just do it properly 12 months ago and keep all of Australia Covid restrictions free for as long as needed or possible ? Now we will have the worst of both worlds, when is the federal government going to be held accountable ?

  10. There will be no such thing as “living with covid” for the over 60s to the over 90s cohorts and beyond. There will be no such thing as “living with covid” for people with medical pre-conditions. There will be no such thing as “living with covid” for disabled, indigenous, poor, homeless and other vulnerable groups. Many of these people will die from COVID-19 sooner or later. If they don’t die from it the first time they get it, they will die from it the third, fourth, fifth or xth time they get it, as their other vulnerabilities progress over time, such as increasing medical pre-conditions and naturally increasing immunosenescence with age.

    People will just keep on catching covid-19 over and over, once it is endemic, rather than eradicated, and if they keep on living normal, social-mixing lives. You can still get COVID-19 when fully vaccinated and there is nothing to suggest this cannot happen multiple times. About 25% to 30% of hospitalizations for COVID-19 in Massachusetts are of fully vaccinated individuals (who are now in the majority of course. Massachusetts is seeing 0.02% of hospitalizations from COVID-19 cases in the double-vaccinated population of 4,522,279 people. Only 0.004% of fully vaccinated individuals are dying.

    These numbers sound very comforting and they are to an extant. But there is still a sting in the time sequence tail. There is nothing to suggest that a socially active person will not get COVID-19 at least once every two years, just like a cold. But it won’t be like a cold in morbidity and lehtality effects. Imagine a 60 year old who might live another 20 years and thus potentially faces 10 x COVID-19 infections over that time. That’s 10 times 0.004% or the added up chance of 0.04% of dying from COVID-19 from 60 to 80. But the 0.004% is a population average. At 60, 62, 64 and so on this person will face rising chances. The additive chance of the rising chances may well be 0.4%. The chances of getting long COVID-19 are likely much higher and these will compound mortality chances. I don’t like the chances of coming out well from having multiple hammerings from multiple COVID-19 infections each one leaving the person with long COVID sequalae interacting additively or even multiplicatively over time.

    None of these real long-term sequence dangers are being addressed by the authorities. If they were properly addressed they would suggest we should vaccinate to something like 95% of total population plus use other measures to ERADICATE the virus and keep it out. To leave is endemic is a recipe for disaster. This is NOT a cold and it is NOT even a bad flu. It is far more serious than that. This is disease about ten times more contagious and lethal than a bad flu and one which escapes vaccines and immunity and is still rapidly evolving more dangerous variants. The chances of COVID-19 evolving into something relatively benign in the near term future are very low, though not zero.

    We should be preparing for the much more likely alternative. COVID-19 will likely spend at least another ten years evolving into more and more dangerous variants. It will accelerate its vaccine and immunity escape and very likely become even more dangerous under the evolutionary pressure of a leaky vaccine applied at less than eradication levels. It’s much like not taking the proper course of anitbiotics. Leaving variants to evolve favors resistance, in this case vaccine resistance. COVID-19 could easily become the viral equivalent of golden staph for the lungs and organs except that it will be everywhere (endemic) and aerosol air-borne with extremely high contagion, morbidity and death rates.

    The movies “Outbreak” and “Contagion” were greatly over-optimistic. The reality is likely to be much more dystopian unless we eradicate COVID-19.

  11. Experts think the COVID-19 Delta variant is much more contagious than the flu and chickenpox, and on par with the measles. From Healthline, dated Jul 30:

    Measles is infectious from 60 feet away, and simply walking into a room within an hour or two after someone with measles was there would give you measles.

    According to the CDC, measles is so contagious that if a person with measles is exposed to someone with no immunity, they’d have a 90 percent chance of developing it.

    Chickenpox is infectious from 20 feet, and the flu is predominantly spread from close contact.

    The degree to which a virus is airborne depends on its size, said Nachman. The measles virus is very small and able to stay suspended in the air for longer and remain contagious.

    SARS-CoV-2 is a larger particle, so it’s not able to stay suspended in the air for quite as long, according to Nachman.

    https://www.healthline.com/health-news/cdc-says-delta-variant-as-infectious-as-chickenpox-what-to-know-now

    IMO, the simple message is: Get vaccinated ASAP with AZ, Pfizer or Moderna – whichever works for you – that’s the best available strategy for individuals.

  12. Campbell Newman was in The Australian today making a specious point about how 2017 and 2019 were particularly bad years for ‘flu deaths, yet there was no call for ‘flu vaccine passports. And the week before last we had Berejiklian telling us that 600-800 people die of the ‘flu each year in NSW, so whatcha gonna do [shrugs shoulders]? (Paraphrased.)

    Their points are undermined by the fact that the last certified death from the ‘flu in Australia was in July 2020. Don’t believe me; believe the ABS:
    https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/health/causes-death/provisional-mortality-statistics/latest-release
    (Scroll to ‘Influenza and Pneumonia’.)

    Now I wonder what occurrence, and its associated behavioural changes, over the past 18 months might have led to this extraordinary outcome. And I wonder what Campbo and Their Glad might have to say about it. (I’m tipping “Rapa-Nui-moai-grade stony-faced silence”.)

  13. “Get vaccinated ASAP with AZ, Pfizer or Moderna – whichever works for you – that’s the best available strategy for individuals.” – Geoff Miell.

    I agree completely, for individuals, caught as they are, in the current mess that is the neoliberal Western excuse for public health policy. However, I am trying to make the point that suppression to eradication of COVID-19 is the best available strategy for societies. Since Western societies didn’t adopt this strategy early they are in for years of public (un)health hell. And then they eventually will have to pursue eradication anyway unless they want to collapse socially and economically into third world status.

    “Covid-19 is very unlikely to be eradicated globally, so all countries will remain at risk, probably for years to come and perhaps indefinitely,” Christopher Dye, University of Oxford.

    But let us remember why it is unlikely (any time soon) to be eradicated globally. It is unlikely because the idiotic, neoliberal West let it spread almost everywhere. The West took no measures to suppress its international spread and hardly any individual nations took any measures to seriously suppress its internal spread.

    The dimensions of this mistake will become evident over the next 5 years or so and all sensible, functional nation states will be forced into 95% plus vaccination rates, by mandate if necessary, and into the most stringent internal and border quarantine measures. This is unless they want the fabric of their society to be overwhelmed and torn to pieces by COVID-19.

    People know they are dealing with the Delta variant and thus the worst widespread result so far of the whole evolutionary path from the Wuhan strain to Delta. How is that they don’t understand that many more and likely many worse variants will still be on the way?

  14. sunshine asks “when is the federal government going to be held accountable ?”

    3-5yrs after Royal Commission into Scomo & Covid Contrarians reports.

    I already have a document ready.

    I suggest everyone starts one now. Fresh is best.

  15. Finally, ATAGI and some state governments have seen reason on permitting the Pfizer vaccination choice for over 60s. It started with the NT flagging permission, then W.A., S.A. and now Qld. This became possible when the Pfizer scarcity bottleneck, created by an incompetent Federal Govt., was finally overcome.

    “From this weekend, the Pfizer jab will also become available (in Qld.) for those over the age of 60, following similar moves in other states.

    “They’ve said to me loud and clear they want to have a choice of vaccines, and I say let’s give it to them,” the Premier said.
    “We are able to do this because the supply is finally coming in. Now that everyone form the age of 12 is eligible, I want to see generations of families turning up to get vaccinated.”” – myGC.

    There are medically valid reasons why some over 60s will be safer with Pfizer. These extend beyond those conditions listed in the initial ATAGI advice. Finally, the intransigent administrators and governments are caching up with the medical complexities and diversity of conditions people face. It’s about time.

  16. Gambia beats ALL G20 nations and is “the only nation among all 37 [in report] to be “1.5 compatible.”. From “Analysis: Despite “Code Red” on climate, target update momentum at a standstill” (fn^Taget)

    Gambia #1 for actiin plan! – Australia is 164 places ahead on the Human Development Index -HDI,  and Gambia is the “Only one country … rating as having overall climate action that is consistent with the Paris Agreement 1.5˚C warming limit …” (fn^Taget) – worth repeating. 

    – we dont care. Therefore the HDI needs a rewrite. JQ and Amrita Sen et al it seems agree with HDI problems. (fn^HDI.)

    Gambia. Gambia? The ONLY nation to meet 1.5deg global heating IPCC targets. I kept repeating – Gambia?!

    Australia is just below Kazakhstan:-

    Gambia’s Human Development Index (HDI) comes in at 172nd – Australia’s HDI – 8th. 

    I think the HDI needs a rewrite if Gambia manages to plan for <1.5c warming, and we don't. Gambia it seems has a more developed humanity than us. Yet HDI places Australia 164 places ahead of Gambia. (fn^HDI) "Most users will not, however, realize that the new HDI has also greatly reduced its implicit weight on longevity in poor countries, relative to rich ones." … "The author is grateful to Satya Chakravarty, Deon Filmer, Emanuela Galasso, John Quiggin, Amartya Sen, [et al]" – JQ please write a new submission re HDI. (In your spare time!) (fn^HDI). 
    *

    Gambia has water – 11.5%, or ten times our surface water.

    Gambia has 0.0279% of global population. Imagine our National Party, 'no use doing anything, we are only 0.279 percent ".
    *

    Stats from Wikipedia.
    Australia –
    • Water (%) 1.79
    GDP (PPP) 2021 estimate
    • Total $1.416 trillion(18th)
    • Per capita
     $54,891(17th)GDP
    Gini 32.5
    medium · 16th
    HDI (2019) 0.944 very high · 8th

    Whereas Gambia –
    • Water (%) 11.5
    Gini (2015) 35.9[4]
    medium
    HDI (2019) 0.496 low · 172nd
    *

    fn^Taget – Gambia! –

    "Analysis: Despite “Code Red” on climate, target update momentum at a standstill

    "Only one country – The Gambia – is rating as having overall climate action that is consistent with the Paris Agreement 1.5˚C warming limit …"

    "Gas is still falsely being promoted as a “bridging fuel” and needs to be phased out as soon as possible, yet Australia, the world’s largest gas exporter, is still pouring cash into expanding gas. "
    https://climateactiontracker.org/press/analysis-despite-code-red-on-climate-target-update-momentum-at-a-standstill/
    *

    fn^HDI:
    "Troubling tradeoffs in the Human Development Index

    Abstract
    "The 20th Human Development Report introduced a new version of its famous Human Development Index (HDI), which aggregates country-level attainments in life expectancy, schooling and income. 

    The main change was to relax the past assumption of perfect substitutability between its components. Most users will not, however, realize that the new HDI has also greatly reduced its implicit weight on longevity in poor countries, relative to rich ones. 

    By contrast, the new HDI's valuations of extra schooling are now very high—many times the economic returns. An alternative index is proposed that embodies less troubling tradeoffs while still allowing imperfect substitution."

    "The author is grateful to Satya Chakravarty, Deon Filmer, Emanuela Galasso, John Quiggin, Amartya Sen, Suman Seth, Dominique van de Walle, Adam Wagstaff, the Journal's anonymous reviewers and staff of the Human Development Report Office, UNDP, for helpful comments and discussions. "
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0304387812000041
    *
    ? Why do abstracts omit paragraphs? 

  17. For the vaccine passport to be viable, vaccines have to be readily and easily available everywhere.

    Another complexity to achieving full vaccination is hesitancy, in part inspired by Craig Kelly, the UAP and other self promoters.

  18. ICYMI, the White House Joint Leaders Statement on AUKUS (Australia-UK-US trilateral security partnership) includes (bold text my emphasis):

    As the first initiative under AUKUS, recognizing our common tradition as maritime democracies, we commit to a shared ambition to support Australia in acquiring nuclear-powered submarines for the Royal Australian Navy. Today, we embark on a trilateral effort of 18 months to seek an optimal pathway to deliver this capability. We will leverage expertise from the United States and the United Kingdom, building on the two countries’ submarine programs to bring an Australian capability into service at the earliest achievable date.
    https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2021/09/15/joint-leaders-statement-on-aukus/

    Interesting to know what the experts anticipate the timeline is, considering Australia currently has no nuclear power generation or fuel processing capability. Decade+? Multi-decade?

    Senator Rex Patrick was talking on-air with Ben Fordham at Radio 2GB earlier today on the AUKUS agreement and the scrapping of the proposal for the French-designed submarines to replace the Collins-class submarines. Rex Patrick said (from time interval 03:21):

    It’s unlikely that these submarines would be built here. Of course, we’ve had no announcement, so we don’t know the details, but that would be a more difficult proposition, and that would become a huge breach-of-promise by the Coalition Government to people in South Australia and the entire industry, that has spun-up here to build submarines. That’s another, that’s another issue that flies from this. I mean, these, these things are logistically challenging. We, we can’t think of this as a simple proposition. There are no countries in the world that operate nuclear-powered submarines that don’t have a nuclear industry.

    The podcast (duration 4:31) is available at: https://www.2gb.com/australia-set-to-go-nuclear-pm-strikes-international-defence-pact/

    And it seems on cue, Mark Latham was calling for nuclear power to be made legal, also at Radio 2GB this morning.
    https://www.2gb.com/mark-latham-calls-for-nuclear-power-to-be-made-legal-amid-new-defence-pact/

    And apparently also on cue, today’s The Australian had a half-page ad from Craig Kelly headlined WE NEED NUCLEAR POWER NOW

    It looks like another parliamentary inquiry will be on, looking into the latest nuclear issues, but will it produce anything significant that we don’t already know?

  19. A comment preview before submitting would be handy. Retry.

    ICYMI, the White House Joint Leaders Statement on AUKUS (Australia-UK-US trilateral security partnership) includes (bold text my emphasis):

    As the first initiative under AUKUS, recognizing our common tradition as maritime democracies, we commit to a shared ambition to support Australia in acquiring nuclear-powered submarines for the Royal Australian Navy. Today, we embark on a trilateral effort of 18 months to seek an optimal pathway to deliver this capability. We will leverage expertise from the United States and the United Kingdom, building on the two countries’ submarine programs to bring an Australian capability into service at the earliest achievable date.

    https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2021/09/15/joint-leaders-statement-on-aukus/

    Interesting to know what the experts anticipate the timeline is, considering Australia currently has no nuclear power generation or fuel processing capability. Decade+? Multi-decade?

    Senator Rex Patrick was talking on-air with Ben Fordham at Radio 2GB earlier today on the AUKUS agreement and the scrapping of the proposal for the French-designed submarines to replace the Collins-class submarines. Rex Patrick said (from time interval 03:21):

    It’s unlikely that these submarines would be built here. Of course, we’ve had no announcement, so we don’t know the details, but that would be a more difficult proposition, and that would become a huge breach-of-promise by the Coalition Government to people in South Australia and the entire industry, that has spun-up here to build submarines. That’s another, that’s another issue that flies from this. I mean, these, these things are logistically challenging. We, we can’t think of this as a simple proposition. There are no countries in the world that operate nuclear-powered submarines that don’t have a nuclear industry.

    The podcast (duration 4:31) is available at: https://www.2gb.com/australia-set-to-go-nuclear-pm-strikes-international-defence-pact/

    And it seems on cue, Mark Latham was calling for nuclear power to be made legal, also at Radio 2GB this morning.
    https://www.2gb.com/mark-latham-calls-for-nuclear-power-to-be-made-legal-amid-new-defence-pact/

    And apparently also on cue, today’s The Australian had a half-page ad from Craig Kelly headlined WE NEED NUCLEAR POWER NOW

    It looks like another parliamentary inquiry will be on, looking into the latest nuclear issues, but will it produce anything significant that we don’t already know?

  20. Lifting the “ban” on nuclear would be as emptily symbolic as the “ban” has been. And that would be the least of the legislative changes needed for nuclear power plants. I don’t know about nuclear powered submarines – surely that is a decision that should not be an administrative decision that is outside of public scrutiny.

    I just look at the lead vocalists in the “just use nuclear” choir and see that every one of them is a climate responsibility denier who wants to protect fossil fuels from the growth of renewable energy – and anyone who willingly downplays the seriousness of global warming through misinformation and outright lies to protect fossil fuels is incapable of using the truth of the global warming problem to promote nuclear. Their judgement as well as character is suspect.

    Craig Kelly is headed for political oblivion but there is Mr Joyce; if Barnaby Joyce really believed both that we need to stop using fossil fuels and that we should do so with nuclear he would make it The National’s policy. He doesn’t, doesn’t and hasn’t. A case of should be “their” policy, never will be “our” policy. If I did support nuclear energy as our principle climate option I know that voting for Joyce and his Nationals will not deliver it.

    For any reasonable prospect of a clean energy future based around nuclear there needs to be safe, reliable, tamper proof modular nuclear power stations available at reasonable cost. SMRs don’t look much better than Fusion in that regard – always sometime soon, after more funding, never now.

  21. When it comes to money it appears there’s a big bucket available for nuclear and non-nuclear subs. Not so much for income support for people during pandemics, or more broadly for those on low incomes. The Tories always show their colours over time.

  22. Drat, it’s that damn physics thing again that’s blowing away technical and efficiency improvements hype as a means of decoupling growth in material use from economic growth.

    The Delusion of Infinite Economic Growth
    Even “sustainable” technology such as electric vehicles and wind turbines faces physical limits and exacts environmental costs
    By Chirag Dhara, Vandana Singh on June 20, 2021

    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-delusion-of-infinite-economic-growth/

    Their, THE, bottom line:

    THE REAL QUESTION

    We have argued that the inextricable link between material consumption and GDP makes the infinite-growth paradigm incompatible with sustaining ecological integrity. Thus, while EVs constitute a partial answer to the climate question, within the current paradigm they will only exacerbate the larger anthropogenic crises connected to unsustainable resource consumption.

    The real question is this: how do we transition to alternative economic paradigms founded on the reconciliation of equitable human well-being with ecological integrity?

  23. Noisy US carrier group protecting attack subs? Why buy them?

    Having sited truly sovereign strategic fuel stock piles in Australia rather than those supposedly in the US, and maintaining an adequate refinery capacity would negate the need for nuclear powered subs to protect the very fuel shipments required for diesel subs to provide that protection for their own continuing function and everything else essential in Australia. Probably cheaper in financial and environmental terms than nukes, and with the many added benefits of more assured fuel supply for all those other purposes if when the mounting warpig hostilities of the 1% owned neoliberal Washington Consensus do cut shipping to Australia.

  24. “Another complexity to achieving full vaccination is hesitancy, in part inspired by Craig Kelly, the UAP and other self promoters.”

    Seems to me more and more that no vaxx are just 99% narcissistic morrons, who will come arround once they are threated in accordance with the risk they pose to others. No point in giving them time, just quasi-mandate vaccination right from the get go, time to reason has no positive effect anyway. That is mandata a test payed out of pocket every day or vaccination to enter a workplace, public transport, go shopping, meat more than 3 people etc.,

    Off listening to people talking trash about not wanting to exclude anyone bla… (who got no qualms excluding anyone who steals two euros or any similar nuisance, a level of anti social behaviour hardly measurable low compared to running arround unvaccinated).

  25. (No sandpit this week so this goes here)

    Just terrorism?
    I had fondly thought the romantic left-wing tolerance for the right kind of terrorism was over, but sadly not. The usually fair American labour historian Erik Loomis, one of the lefty bloggers at Lawyers, Guns & Money, has this to say about Zohra Drif’s bombing of a pied noir café in Algiers in September 1956 (https://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2021/09/varieties-of-historical-leftist-violence):

    “I am glad she feels no regrets. It was a solid political action, including from a moral perspective. So were the other bombings that day of the cafe and the Air France office. Yes, this cost lives. So did French repression.”

    From an academic, this is incredibly sloppy. If you are going contrarian against the settled opinion of humanity, you should at least engage with the two principal currents of thought on political violence. One is principled non-violence, expounded and practised by Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi and Vaclav Havel, with considerable success, and in our own day by Lula da Silva, Bill McKibben and Greta Thunberg. It is IIRC the standard view among political scientists that “armed struggle” and in particular terrorism are generally ineffective as a political tactic for the oppressed, compared to non-violent forms of resistance and protest, which can mobilize far more supporters. This explains why Nelson Mandela, another successful leader, moved away from his early support for Umkhonte na Sizwe. To set against these practitioners, what have you got as apologists tor revolutionary terrorism? Fanon, Marighella, a couple of 19th-century anarchists, who else? Loomis doesn’t say which of these losers is his inspiration.

    He also brushes under the carpet a massive literature since Cicero (Suarez, Grotius, Dunant. Walzer…) on just war and tyrannicide, which has created essential distinctions and a battery of criteria: just cause, proportionality, adequate chance of success, retributive justice (desert)…. One of the classic tests for a just war, and by extension any violent action, is consequential: will the deed on balance have good effects measured by some legitimate political objective? As the activist goes down the slope from attacks on property (Welsh and South Tyrol secessionists in the 1950s) to attacks on police and other officials (Airey Neave, Mountbatten, Heydrich *) and finally civilians, their action is decreasingly likely to meet the separate test of desert. If you are not going to ban terrorist attacks on random civilians outright, the bar on consequences has at least to be much higher.

    Loomis resorts here to handwaving. More important, so does Drif, who is still alive:
    “The bombing of the Milk Bar, frequented by French settlers, aimed “to create in the civilian French population the same panic” that Algerians were experiencing, she said […] The Europeans “were so overprotected, it was as if there wasn’t a war. . . . And we had to tell them: The war is everywhere. It’s not only for us, it’s also for the French.”

    The bombings no doubt made the pieds noirs scared – also angry, to the point of launching their own terrorist reprisals, and even less open to a compromise political solution as in Ireland in 1921. The FLN’s resort to urban terrorism surely played a part in justifying the mass torture by the French paras in the Battle of Algiers one year later. I do not suggest that any path to ending French rule could have been painless, but it’s very hard to make a case that FLN urban terrorism shortened the war or reduced its casualties.

    At least Loomis spares us the odious Hail Mary of “heightening the contradictions”: (1) provoke the enemy into over-reacting, which (2) brings the masses round to supporting the Revolution, (3) success! Part 1 of this very often works. Part 2 is wishful thinking: it makes great cinema in the hands of Eisenstein (October) and Pontecorvo (Battle of Algiers), but can you think of a single real-world example? The Algerians were stolidly for independence already before the Milk Bar. It wasn’t the crushed handful of terrorist lefties who brought own the Argentine and Brazilian military dictatorships.

    The episode tends to confirm the commonsense hypothesis that confirmation bias is likely to be particularly high in justifying violence. Recognizing that you made a mistake over an act that got a lot of innocent people killed leads not just to embarrassment but to shame. We really don’t like that and try extra hard to evade the conclusion. See also several Afghan wars.

    * Footnote on Heydrich’s assassination in 1942. On desert, no question at all, the man was a monster and mass murderer. But before the deed, there was a bitter argument over consequences The Czech resistance in Prague feared savage German reprisals, and rightly so; the leadership in London feared the success of the capable Heydrich’s plan for the Germanization of Bohemia. They were right too, as after his death he was replaced as Protector (sic) by Kaltenbrunner, who was just as evil but less dynamic, and crucially kept his previous job and stayed in Berlin. Germanisation was put on hold and Bohemia stayed Slav. Was this worth Lidice? The point is not to answer the question but to note the seriousness with which it was treated at the time.

    Footnote 2 on the Viet Minh. Between 1946 and 1949, Giap and Ho reinforced their control of Vietnamese villages by methods that included selective assassination of recalcitrant village leaders. This looks to have been effective. It was not random but directed at individuals who had shown support for the French. The campaign was incidental to a wider anti-colonial rebellion, which many think justified. Only the third point parallels the FLN in Algeria.

  26. JQ, risk of accidents or sinking 14% of nuclear submarines by my wonky envelope. 

    Please included risk of accident / sinking in your sub analysis.  And opportunities costs of foregone peace initiatives.

    See this thread for what we will now cease thinking about – an other disaster. Remember bushfires? GB Reef Foundation? Look over there.

    Data hard to come by for me.

    9 nuclear subbmarines in  Davy Jones’ Locker – sunk.

    15 nuclear submarine accidents. 
    wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_submarine#Accidents

    wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_sunken_nuclear_submarines

    I had count 175 nuclear subs – by eye as no count provided.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_nuclear_submarines

    Do we really know?

    25yr lifespan so we get some in 2030 and by 2065 they are all “sunk”, as is say $200bn+ opportunity of funding peace.  
    *

    Used submarines…
    https://www.mysubmarines.com/

  27. I was going to post about Gambia being the only country to satisfy;

    “Analysis: Despite “Code Red” on climate, target update momentum at a standstill

    “Only one country – The Gambia – is rating as having overall climate action that is consistent with the Paris Agreement 1.5˚C warming limit …”

    “Gas is still falsely being promoted as a “bridging fuel” and needs to be phased out as soon as possible, yet Australia, the world’s largest gas exporter, is still pouring cash into expanding gas. ”

    https://climateactiontracker.org/press/analysis-despite-code-red-on-climate-target-update-momentum-at-a-standstill/

    The geo political military industrial street light is so bright today, the climate has gone dark.

  28. Morrison government election ploy – Christmas Day edition :
    “See, we are human”. Disgusting. Jusy human shields. Vile.

    “A Tamil family who have been fighting for years to remain in Australia have been offered three-month bridging visas in a surprise development.

    “A Tamil family who have been fighting for years to remain in Australia have been offered three-month bridging visas in a surprise development. ”
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2021/09/16/bridging-visa-offer-biloela-family/

  29. What is Dutton on about now ? Talking about the future of our new US alliance he referred to enhancing posture further ,bigger troop rotations through our US bases ,hosting ‘all types’ of aircraft ,and ‘storing different types of ordinance’ .The US has wanted missiles and an aircraft carrier based here. Morrison refers to our new arrangement as a ‘forever partnership’ .Sounds a bit doomsday to me. Our military is going to be hard wired into the US . We are not even getting the first of the subs for another 20 years – this great rivalry will have resolved itself one way or another by then anyway. The submarine deal is only the first step ,it makes no sense without so much more that must have already been planned to come.

  30. JQ. Any other alternatives? What happened to Ali in the future?

    Why do we have to pay for the pandemic on ‘The Court of Capitalism’? Oh, it’s the only place left to right the ship! But the bond market to me is all iceburg and 4% interst tip. 96% is ‘underwater’ which ‘we’ have little control of.

    Over to you Ikonoclast!

    JQ said ” The final option, and the most desirable from a progressive viewpoint, is acceptance of a higher rate of inflation, say 4 per cent, in place of the current target range of 2 per cent to 3 per cent. That would erode the real value of bonds, and thereby place the burden primarily on the wealthy. A higher rate of inflation is also necessary to allow for effective monetary policy.”

    https://arena.org.au/paying-for-the-pandemic/

  31. Interesting post by James Wimberley. My instinct says terrorism might be justified in some rare cases. My rational head says James Wimberley’s arguments make sense. The condition of total war, where it applies, adds a twist. Under conditions of total war, almost everything is strategically justified. The question then becomes, is it tactically justified?

    A very oppressed and occupied population could feel, rightly or wrongly, that they are subject to total oppression which is a kind of total war against them. “Civilians” of the other side, as colonialists and colonists are all oppressors engaged in a total war against the survival chances, human rights and economic interests of the local population. The civilian man or woman who, by any procedure even administrative, feeds the soldiers who kill your children, what are their just deserts and are they, as production base and/or logistical tail, valid targets? There’s a moral decision for sure, and then a tactical decision. But the strategic position is clear in total war. The entire production base and logistical tail is arguably a strategic target. Although, there are claims now that strategic bombing in WW2 had little to do with the final result. I find that hard to believe entirely. However, if all that bombing were switched to the front and the true logistical tail rather than production sites then that might be true.

    Complex stuff and fraught with incentives for motivated reasoning.

  32. Svante: – “Having sited truly sovereign strategic fuel stock piles in Australia rather than those supposedly in the US, and maintaining an adequate refinery capacity would negate the need for nuclear powered subs to protect the very fuel shipments required for diesel subs to provide that protection for their own continuing function and everything else essential in Australia.

    Where will the ongoing and adequate crude oil supplies come from to fill those “sovereign strategic fuel stock piles in Australia“, Svante? And how does burning more petroleum fuels help with reducing Australia’s GHG emissions? See my comments at: https://johnquiggin.com/2021/07/27/monday-message-board-518/comment-page-1/#comment-244458
    And: https://johnquiggin.com/2021/07/27/monday-message-board-518/comment-page-1/#comment-244518

    Per the article by Anthony Galloway published yesterday in the SMH headlined Australia to build missile defences while waiting on nuclear-powered submarines, it includes (bold text my emphasis):

    The nuclear-powered submarines may not arrive until as late as 2040, despite Defence officials last year warning the country no longer had a 10-year window to defend itself from an attack.

    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/australia-to-build-at-least-eight-nuclear-powered-submarines-under-a-historic-new-military-alliance-20210916-p58s23.html

    I’d suggest the 2030s (let alone 2040) is far, far too late for protecting crude oil supplies to Australia that have likely already been in a steep supply decline since the mid- to late-2020s. If the tech is not available to deploy now or in the next few years, it’s already too late – that’s the inconvenient truth as I see it.

  33. To understand the scale and significance of Australia’s diesel fuel import dependency, the graphs tweeted by Matt yesterday at Crude Oil Peak might help:

    Also this posted by Matt on Sep 8 at CrudeOilPeak, that concludes with:

    There is a lot of media interest about electric cars (EVs). What is much more important is a replacement for diesel fuels. Until this is economically and reliably available, no new infrastructure should be built which counts on increasing diesel consumption. And this imperative puts into question the perpetual growth narrative of all governments.

    https://crudeoilpeak.info/australias-diesel-imports-on-record-high-update-june-2021

  34. The question of cost and technical difficulty of disposing of decommissioned nuclear submarines has been down played by the Morrison government and it needs to provide more comprehensive answers.

    The current experience in the US and the UK don’t inspire confidence:

    “The Puget Sound shipyard already has a backlog of 10 nuclear-powered submarines and the ex-USS Long Beach (CGN-9) in storage waiting to be dismantled and recycled. An additional three nuclear-powered submarines are pier-side awaiting dismantling, the GAO report states.”

    https://news.usni.org/2018/08/15/navy-civilian-nuclear-regulators-in-fight-over-who-monitors-enterprise-dismantling?fbclid=IwAR1R-X4mwQdOtVz4Q0DSoJAcuSfMqiF_jIbb4y6y_7NfzbOd7Ps6meNXgqE

    “Britain has retired twenty nuclear submarines since 1980. None have been disposed of, and nine still contain radioactive fuel in their reactors, according to an audit by Britain’s National Audit Office. These subs spent an average of twenty-six years on active service—and nineteen years out of service.

    “Because of this, the Department [Ministry of Defense] now stores twice as many submarines as it operates, with seven of them having been in storage for longer than they were in service,” the audit states.

    Even worse is the price tag. Britain has spent 500 million pounds ($646.4 million) maintaining those decommissioned subs between 1980 and 2017. Full disposal of a nuclear sub would cost 96 million pounds ($112.1 million). As a result, the total cost for disposing of the Royal Navy’s ten active subs and twenty retired vessels would be 7.5 billion pounds ($9.7 billion), NAO calculated.”

    https://nationalinterest.org/blog/reboot/royal-navy-doesnt-know-what-do-its-old-nuclear-submarines-156716

    In fifty years when our subs are decommissioned will they be added to the US’s & UK’s growing backlogs of old nuclear submarines awaiting safe disposal or will we have to deal them?

  35. Sam Roggeveen, a defence analyst at Lowy, argues in the AFR today that the decision to buy 12 French subs has been replaced by the folly of buying a set of Rolls Royces from the US when we really need (home-produced) Corollas. The US nuclear subs could launch missiles over great distances (e.g. to the South China Sea) and back up US forces if needed – that is, of course unless China grabs Taiwan or consolidates control of the Sea before 2040 when we can expect to get the subs. But does the US really intend to get involved in a confrontation there that it would almost certainly lose? If it does then Australia becomes a plausible Chinese target.

    But maybe our long-term strategies should primarily be directed at protecting Australia. We don’t need to fire missiles a long way and we need to be able to repair vessels we have ourselves. South Korea is making its own nuclear powered subs and seems to want to take care of itself when, as it seems to assume, the US shoots through.

    Maybe it’s all about money. That has not been mentioned much yet (it almost seems they are “giving away” state of the art stuff for free but of course they are not) but the assumption is that the US will want more than the $90b (and growing) that was to be paid to the French. We then support US foreign policies in the South China Sea thereby possibly making ourselves a target by neglecting investments in our own defence. Emphasising our own defence needs is definitely more effective if, as seems possible, the US ditches concerns with north Asia.

    I am puzzled. It’s not clear to me we have got a great deal.

  36. There is a way. The BBC tells the story:

    “First, the defunct sub is towed to a secure de-fuelling dock where its reactor compartment is drained of all liquids to expose its spent nuclear fuel assemblies. Each assembly is then removed and placed in spent nuclear fuel casks and put on secure trains for disposal at a long-term waste storage and reprocessing plant. In the US, this is the Naval Reactor Facility at the sprawling Idaho National Laboratory, and in Russia the Mayak plutonium production and reprocessing plant in Siberia is the final destination.

    Although the reactor machinery – steam generators, pumps, valves and piping – now contains no enriched uranium, the metals in it are rendered radioactive by decades of neutron bombardment shredding their atoms. So after fuel removal, the sub is towed into dry dock where cutting tools and blowtorches are used to sever the reactor compartment, plus an emptied compartment either side of it, from the submarine’s hull. Then thick steel seals are welded to either end. So the canisters are not merely receptacles: they are giant high-pressure steel segments of the nuclear submarine itself – all that remains of it, in fact, as all nonradioactive submarine sections are then recycled.” – How Do You Dismantle a Nuclear Sub, BBC Future.

    So, it is not impossible but it is dangerous and difficult.

    II am sure J.Q. will post on this. Maybe he will riff on his previous naval title “What do destroyers destroy? What do frigates … ?” Hard to think of a good punning title. Maybe, “What could sub for subs?” After all, the nuclear subs will be hellishingly expensive. There could be ways to get a better bang for our bucks. How about missiles, drones and undersea drones? Are huge, manned subs about to become obsolete in some theaters and in some roles?

    https://www.19fortyfive.com/2021/06/the-u-s-navys-next-problem-the-submarine-could-be-obsolete/

  37. The nuclear submarine ruckus is unalloyed bad news for Australian coal exporters. All the importing countries in SE Asia, with the possible exception of India (aiming to end coal imports anyway), must now be factoring in to their thinking the worsening regional tensions and heightened risks of import reliance, especially from self-appointed bad-guy Australia.

    Take Vietnam. CoalWire: “In the latest draft of Vietnam’s proposed 2021–2030 energy strategy, the Ministry of Industry and Trade has proposed increasing coal capacity by 3070 MW to 40,649 MW or 31 per cent of installed capacity by 2030.” The debate on coal in Vietnam is relatively open, with regional protests. This indicates that the leadership is divided. The national security guys are presumably on the side of self-reliance with renewables, and reducing vulnerabilities to Chinese pressure, as Vietnam imports its coal by sea. The case has just got stronger. Expect the planned coal expansion to shrink or disappear.

    i did point out to the Vietnamese Embassy in Paris that one of the sites for pumped hydro storage identified by the Blakers atlas is at Dien Ben Phu. No reply of course, but it would be one hell of a statement.

  38. Geoff – “Where will the ongoing and adequate crude oil supplies come from to fill those “sovereign strategic fuel stock piles in Australia“, Svante?”

    The very same places as for elsewhere, of course. Where does that bit of supposedly Australian oil sitting in the US tank farms a long exposed voyage away from here come from?

    – “And how does burning more petroleum fuels help with reducing Australia’s GHG emissions?”

    Australia’s GHG emissions are rather a separate issue both to running a few fossil powered subs and to going for the continuously noisy coolant pumping nuclear attack submarine option that’s only really suitable for massed escorting outdated US carrier groups unconventional warhead delivery (and probably fatter kickbacks). The diesel burnt by (8?) subs is insignificant in contrast to the total petroleum fuel consumed in Australia. Acquiring noisy nuclear powered subs won’t change that. Maybe you just like nukes more? I don’t like military toys, military curses like nukes even less, but if the warpigs must have largish manned subs then make them here independently of unreliable fading hegemonic imperialist powers, and make them Australian owned and Australian controlled for Australian waters. And have adequate strategic fossil fuel reserves sited in Australia for as long as is needed and for what may be needed.

    Diesel electric subs can do things nukes can’t, such as run more silently! But better yet go air-independent (AIP) with off the shelf fuel cell, stirling, etc propulsion options available now and work on large LiIon battery combinations.

    – “If the tech is not available to deploy now or in the next few years, it’s already too late – that’s the inconvenient truth as I see it.”

    There are various options available off the shelf now that could splash pretty quickly. Not to mention drones, lots of smart stealthy patient drones and green fuel options.

  39. Svante: – “The very same places as for elsewhere, of course.

    And if, more likely when, those supplies diminish or are disrupted? I think you (among many others) haven’t comprehended what a post- ‘peak oil’ supply world means and how quickly it can affect all aspects of a petroleum-dependent civilisation.

    No fuel means fuel dependent equipment stops running, including the military.

    Australia could be brought to its knees in less than a month if an adversary were to cut off our oil supply, says a former RAAF boss, and with a war with Iran edging dangerously closer he says it’s just another reason why we need to adopt electric vehicles faster.

    https://www.carsguide.com.au/car-news/air-force-boss-warns-of-fuel-shortage-in-australia-as-war-with-iran-looms-77590

    Svante: – “Australia’s GHG emissions are rather a separate issue…

    I’d suggest Australia’s GHG emissions are a critical issue that cannot be ignored/dismissed.

    Instead of 1.15 per cent of global carbon dioxide, Australia would be responsible for 9.4 per cent of the world’s carbon dioxide, third place globally.

    https://www.afr.com/policy/economy/why-australia-is-a-bigger-carbon-pariah-than-we-think-20210912-p58r07

    Svante: – “There are various options available off the shelf now that could splash pretty quickly.

    Please elaborate.

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