Monday Message Board

Another Message Board

Post comments on any topic. Civil discussion and no coarse language please. Side discussions and idees fixes to the sandpits, please.

I’ve moved my irregular email news from Mailchimp to Substack. You can read it here. You can also follow me on Twitter @JohnQuiggin

I’m also trying out Substack as a blogging platform. For the moment, I’ll post both at this blog and on Substack.

78 thoughts on “Monday Message Board

  1. Harry, give the linked article a read, and come back to us “in a natural way”.

    Your use of the phrase “in a natural way” bells the cat, and plays both sides.

    And “in a natural way” is completely contradictory of your absolutely correct statement “that government policy will itself perpetuate the slow wages growth”. And everything else.

    For a stark example of how jarring to me the phrase “in a natural way” is, (‘newspeak’) the phrase is anthropomorphic and how we are going to arrive at catastrophic climate change. It is NOT natural it is power & policitical.

    I know one of the founding partners of MinterEllison. They do law as in your use of the phrase “in a natural way”. 

    “Punishment by partiality: Lendlease white-collars stick to the right side of the law no matter what

    by Michael West
    Aug 30, 2022 

    “The law is meant to wear a blindfold, meting out equal treatment to rich, poor and everyone in between. And the taxman is supposed to make rulings without fear or favour. Does the handling of corporate high fliers show otherwise? Michael West reports on the big Lendlease tax scam.

    “The Australian Tax Office published its latest Tax Crime Prosecution Studies just last month. It features a South Australian man receiving a criminal conviction for providing false documents, a swimming teacher going to jail for attempting to claim $250k of false GST refunds, a doctor sentenced to seven months jail for non-lodgements, a bank manager sentenced to three years’ jail for trying to defraud the Commonwealth of $390,000, a NSW man in for two years for defrauding $171,000, and so on.

    “All fine. But what is wrong with that list? What is wrong is that another cohort is nowhere on the list. Lendlease management, PwC partners, MinterEllison, and KPMG for instance, those who defrauded the Commonwealth, who tried to cover it up, who hijacked the institutions of the Law Council and Tax Institute to present false submissions, and who prevailed on other professional firms to themselves submit false arguments to the ATO.

    “Not one white-collar sentence.”

    Paraphrase: This is akin to the nonsense that returns to capital won’t have any effect on wages. The Ripley’s “Believe-it-or-not” School of Politics & Law.

    If you are able to have a laugh Harry, see the skits of “Scott Morrison’s social media advisor” & Labor’s “Character we like” in last nights episode of Shaun Micallef’s Mad as Hell.
    Everyone including Albo gets a gong.

    I was brought up in the WEIRD north shore of Sydney. My relations probably play golf with you. I would happily chat with you in the 19th hole.

    But … “in a natural way” is newspeak.

  2. Calling math heads & code breakers…
    40 minutes from NOW! 7.50am aest.

    “Australian Signals Directorate releases coin with secret code to mark cyber-spy agency’s 75th anniversary


    “The Royal Australian Mint – 01 September New Releases has not yet begun. When The Royal Australian Mint – 01 September New Releases begins, you will be assigned a random place in the queue (alongside everyone else who also arrives before The Royal Australian Mint – 01 September New Releases begins).”

  3. Cargill: – “…I have two caveats: (1) whether anthropogenic CO2 is really THE big factor…

    It is a (potentially civilisation-ending) big deal (bold text my emphasis):

    Current forcings imply the planet would warm 2ºC (=2.7 W/m2 x 0.75ºC/(W/m2)) by the time the climate reaches equilibrium. Because the oceans take time to warm up, we are not yet there (so far we have experienced 1.2ºC), and so the remaining ~0.8ºC is ‘in the pipeline’ if we keep concentrations constant (equivalent to an immediate ~70% cut in emissions). Additional forcings in plausible future scenarios could reach 5 W/m2 and therefore additional warming (at equilibrium) could be more than 3ºC.

    These temperature changes might seem like small numbers, but on the scale of a planet they are a big deal. We are already seeing impacts from the warming so far in changing statistics of heat waves, extreme precipitation, and coastal flooding. Recall that the last ice age was only 5 to 6ºC cooler than the pre-industrial – and that was a massive shift. We have already warmed between a fifth and a quarter of an ‘ice age unit‘, and the worst case scenarios have a full ice age unit of warming in a couple of centuries, compared to the 10,000 years it took to warm before.

    That is already significant and is going to get more so until emissions cease.

  4. Harry, how will this effect interest rates & wages please.

    Rich get richer, we subsidise. Investors here buying upto 26% of housing.and Labor Qld is providing “sauce by subsidising the revenue stream.”.

    The henhouse – Palaszczuk “Labor” Qld
    “… the Queensland government will provide the secret (and commercial-in-confidence) sauce by subsidising the revenue stream.”. The New Daily

    Wow! And all commercial in confidence! One of the promoters “Mark began his career with Bain & Company as a consultant.”. D’oh!

    “The ART of the deal: Queensland has a super plan for investing in social housing

    An Australian investment manager says in:
    “Investor appetite”

    8. “Over the long term, property investors make up about 30% of the housing market.

    “When the market conditions are favourable this leads to high investor demand and we all know what that leads to. ”

    “Single-Family Investor Activity Remained High in the Third Quarter

    December 23, 2021

    “… investor activity hit peaks previously unseen in CoreLogic data in the second quarter of 2021. In June, the share of single-family purchases made by investors was 24.3%.  Figure 1 shows that this was eclipsed in July, August and September which had rates of 24.6%, 25.8%, and 26.8%, respectively1. 

    “Figure 1: Share of Home Purchases made by Investors by Month, Jan 2019 – Sep 2021

    “Investors Bought a Quarter of Homes Sold Last Year, Driving Up Rents

    July 22, 2022

  5. On the anniversary of Anna Politkovskaya’s murder Ive taken to reading her book “Putin’s Russia”.

    It’s a very disturbing account of the depths to which Russia has sunk.

    It’s obvious that there can be no agreement made with the Russian leaders, peace is just not part of their lives. Ordinary Russians suffer greatly under the system.

  6. Search Term Ignore Tax please.
    The STIG.

    Proxy for carbon tax and ala bitcoin energy usage with the added externallity of energy of humans time, frustration and ingnorance.

    I agree with Wired article below.
    Any one else agree?

    Googl search results imo have turned to answers instead of information.

    DDG is also frustrating yet at least they don’t track.

    Ingnored my seach terms completely in some cases. Somewhere down pg 1 or 2 the “must include” function STILL ingnored terms. I clicked on 3x the other day – all all it did was insert another set of quotes around term, and still ignored term!

    “Google Search Is Quietly Damaging Democracy

    “A series of incremental changes over the years has transformed the tool from an explorative search function to one that is ripe for deception.

    “Google tracks 39 types of personal data, Apple tracks 12

    “Apple only stores the information that is necessary to maintain users’ accounts,” it continues. “This is because their website is not as reliant on advertising revenue as are Google, Twitter, and Facebook.”

  7. “It is a (potentially civilisation-ending) big deal (bold text my emphasis)”

    Yeah well … I’m far from convinced I have to say. I certainly agree that we should take all reasonable measures to reduce our carbon emissions, but these are two thing I definitely do not agree with:

    (1) The oncoming climate catastrophe is so great that governments in the Western World have to spend unlimited funds in fighting emissions – I think this is utterly nuts, and leads to white elephants like Snowy Hydro 2.0, and huge boondoggles like Twiggy Forrest’s hydrogen dream, and

    (2) We cannot shut down all the oil-gas-coal fired power stations by some arbitrary date, until it is absolutely proven that alleged renewables can provide reliable hefty 24/7 power to run our society and economy. Wind and solar do not cut it.

    So far – despite billions spent round the world on them – renewables are still only providing a modest percentage of reliable 24/7 power in most economies. That is our reality – renewables are cute and nice – like koalas – but they do not power a nation, if we wish to run Business As Usual.

  8. Boondoggle & Bezzle all in one!

    “Carbon capture: a decarbonisation pipe dream”

    “The carbon capture crux: Lessons learned”
    September 01, 2022

    Bruce Robertson and Milad Mousavian

    “… the different applications and conceptualisations of CCUS/CCS, demystifying the technology’s applications, concepts and categorisations. It explains the dichotomy between enhanced oil recovery and carbon capture within dedicated geological structures, and the difference between carbon capture and utilisation (CCU), CCUS and CCS.

    “It uses a four-tiered structure to provide an overview of all carbon capture applications, which includes gas processing, power generation, industry application/production, and carbon dioxide removal (CDR) technologies.

    “Finally, 13 flagship cases (10 in operation, two that have failed and one that has been suspended) comprising about 55% of the total nominal capture capacity operating worldwide have been reviewed in detail. The projects are flagship in different senses, with each of them having unique aspects of importance.

    What we found
    “Further extrapolated in our conclusion at the end of the report, we found:

    * Failed/underperforming projects considerably outnumbered successful experiences.
    * Successful CCUS exceptions mainly existed in the natural gas processing sector serving the fossil fuel industry, leading to further emissions.
    *The elephant in the room of the application of CCS/CCUS in the natural gas processing sector: Scope 3 emissions are still not being accounted for.
    * Captured carbon has mostly been used for enhanced oil recovery (EOR): enhancing oil production is not a climate solution
    * Using carbon capture as a greenlight to extend the life of fossil fuels power plants is a significant financial and technical risk: history confirms this.
    * Some applications of CCS in industries where emissions are hard to abate (such as cement) could be studied as an interim partial solution with careful consideration.


    Check Bruce Robertson’s page for more eye opening reports. From an investor and expert witness.

    “Santos’ massive 300% profit windfall: Eastern Australia is swimming in subsidised gas and we’re giving it away

    “Why the government must break eastern Australia’s gas cartel
    August 15, 2022
    Bruce Robertson

  9. Cargill: – “Yeah well … I’m far from convinced I have to say.

    It seems to me in other words, Cargill, you are a climate science DENIER; like flat-Earthers, and anti-vaxxers, but far, far more dangerous.

    If we/humanity continue with more GHG emissions, the oncoming climate catastrophe will be so great, it will initiate chronic water shortages, crop failures and diminishing yields, while progressively rendering most regions of the planet uninhabitable (too hot/humid) before the end of this century, likely precipitating civilisation collapse, and ending the lives & livelihoods of billions of people.

    Click to access ASLCG-Food-Fight-Report-June-2022-1.pdf

    Cargill: – “We cannot shut down all the oil-gas-coal fired power stations by some arbitrary date…

    Humanity needs to find an effective way fast (within this decade), or civilisation will end in the coming decades – it’s that simple.

    Cargill: – “That is our reality – renewables are cute and nice – like koalas – but they do not power a nation, if we wish to run Business As Usual.

    Displaying your ignorance again.

    BAU is no longer possible. Barring multiple nuclear weapons airbursts, major volcanic eruptions, and/or major meteor surface impact event(s) here on Earth, compelling evidence/data I see indicates the Earth System will inevitably breach the +1.5 °C global mean surface temperature threshold (relative to 1880–1920 mean), and likely do so before 2035.

    The atmosphere in 2021 contained GHGs with CO₂-equivalent of 508 ppm, of which 415 is CO₂ alone. Humanity has now entered climate territory not encountered for millions of years.

  10. Cargill: “We cannot shut down all the oil-gas-coal fired power stations by some arbitrary date…”
    Whyever not? Global Wind Energy Council, May 19, 2022: “In total, 29,324 wind turbines were installed worldwide by 30 manufacturers in 2021…”
    The total nominal new wind capacity was 105 GW, say 30 GW in continuous equivalent. Recall that the USA produced 3,611 military aircraft in 1940. In 1944 it produced 96,270 (Wikipedia), a 26-x increase. The air forces of Japan and Germany ceased to exist by early 1945.

    A modern wind turbine is a mass-produced piece of kit about as complex as a WW2 warplane: a solar farm is much simpler. If we really tried, we could be installing a terawatt each of wind and solar every year in five years. Current world electricity consumption is under 3 TW in continuous equivalent. You do have to start thinking in terawatts of energy and trillions in investment, and stop listening to naysayers.

    BTW, Denmark, which runs its grid for weeks at a time solely on domestic wind, has a far more reliable electricity supply than the US or Australia, by the standard SAIDI metric. Danish electricity is expensive – like Australia’s. Do they invest a lot in firming the wind farms? Sure. It helps to have a reliable neighbour, Norway, with practically unlimited hydro resources. Australia does not need neighbours to reach net zero.

  11. James Wimberley,

    I agree with James Wimberley and Geoff Miell.

    Australia has absolutely no excuse. We have abundant sun, even in wet years caused by a La Niña. We have abundant land. Much of it is arid so solar farms do not prevent other human uses of the land because there are none. We have abundant unused roof space. We tend to build out not up so there are heaps of suburban roofs and wide retail, commercial and light industrial building roofs.

    My house produces enough power for 1.75 households of our use rate with modest roof-space utilisation by 22 solar panels and an evacuated-tube hot water system. We are connected to the grid and can feed power by day and take power by night.

    Also, the notion that we can’t find ways to provide power or energy by night is absurd. There are many ways, micro and macro:

    1. Energy storage. My house already stores energy by storing hot water heated by the sun. It’s still hot at night and in the morning. Energy for electric power can be stored by EVs and home batteries. I haven’t got these yet myself. But better economy-of-scale solutions already exist ready for implementation as we know: Pumped hydro, Molten Salt Heat Concentrating Solar, Battery Farms, Mechanical / Potential Energy and so on. In addition, thermal convection towers may yet prove cost effective and they make more power at night! The temperature differential between the surface and the top of the tower increases at night.

    2. Renewable grid spread and diversification. Wind turbines and wave/tidal generators can work at night too. Spreading solar, wind and wave-tidal generators across and around a wide continent gives diversified back-up power. The amount of energy storage need not be over-large in that case.

    What naysayers forget it that renewable energy is both feasible and absolutely necessary. Without a rapid shift to 100% renewables energy, climate change will destroy civilization and probably extinct humans by 2100. We are beginning to see already how impossible it will be to live with climate change. The current global droughts, floods, fires, sea-level rises and tempest driven coastal inundations are showing clear signs of rapid escalation all over the globe to unsustainable, irresistible levels.

    It’s a climate emergency. The world also has a runaway, vaccine-escaping, pandemic emergency as we know. More pandemics will be driven by climate change as it changes climate zones and enforces mass migrations of humans and animals. Novel zoonosis pathogen spillovers to humans from wildlife are currently spiraling out of control. This will get worse if climate change is not halted. It’s all connected. The biosphere is one system. Halting climate change is absolutely fundamental to civilizational and human survival. There’s no option. Get it done or go extinct. Those are the options. The same applies to pandemic control. No option. Serious pandemic pathogens have to be controlled and eliminated. Again, no option unless we prefer mass deaths and mass disablement.

  12. Dan Illic’s YouTube video titled Why is Australian Gas so expensive? — GASPLAINER, made with the assistance of The Climate Council and a special guest appearance from Climate Town. Duration 0:05:39.

  13. Cargill – not fun. You say stuff just to get a reaction. Last time I’ll reply. See stats below. “Wind prices for power contracts signed in the last few years are 1.5–4 cents per kilowatt-hour. 

    1. Wind energy provides more than 20% of total electricity generation in 11 states,” 

    As Ikon said – “I agree with James Wimberley and Geoff Miell.
    Australia has absolutely no excuse”

    James, wow ” the USA produced 3,611 military aircraft in 1940. In 1944 it produced 96,270 (Wikipedia), a 26-x increase” And “294,000 aircraft built for WW II,”

    As with everything, it is just a political decision. 

    I tried to find a comparison re complexity 1940 aircraft vs wind turbine (8,000 components). No go. Yet this sounds very tricky!

    “Of the ca. 294,000 aircraft built for WW II, the B-17 doesn’t even crack the Top Ten of most-produced. … 
    more than 12,700 aircraft of the same type built at three different aircraft makers in a short time, utilizing a vast number of subcontractors building components to ever-changing specs and requirements”

    “Detailed Look at Manufacturing Boeing’s Legendary World War II Bomber in Original Photos”

    Cargill’s last hurrah;
    Wind turbines…
    “9. Today’s wind turbines are much more complicated machines than the traditional prairie windmill. A wind turbine has as many as 8,000 different components.”

    From The US “Wind Energy Technologies Office”

    “Top 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Wind Power

    AUGUST 16, 2022

    3. The United States’ wind power capacity was about 136,000 megawatts at the end of 2021, making it the largest renewable energy source in the United States. In 2021, U.S. wind power capacity additions equaled 13,400 MW, representing $20 billion in investment in new wind power project installations.

    2. Wind energy is affordable. Wind prices for power contracts signed in the last few years are 1.5–4 cents per kilowatt-hour. 

    1. Wind energy provides more than 20% of total electricity generation in 11 states, with more than 50% in Iowa and South Dakota, and more than 30% in Kansas, Oklahoma, and North Dakota. Overall, wind energy supplied more than 9% of total U.S. electricity generation in 2021.”

    “Animation: How a Wind Turbine Works”

    “The animation below is interactive. You can start and stop the turbine’s movement, hover over parts to see their description, and use the icons in the lower right corner of the animation to switch views.
    [Interactive animation]

    Design you own wind turbine!
    Very tricky.

    “This paper provides researchers and engineers who are interested in modern electric machines and drives for wind power generation a comprehensive reference and blueprint. It may be helpful to come up with what has been done and may well trigger generation of more innovative ideas in this fast-growing area.”

    “On the other hand, there are still a lot of technical challenges involved in electric machines and drives to be overcome, while modelling difficulties, manufacturing difficulties, electric machine and drive failures, as well as sensorless control under abnormal conditions are highlighted. However, emerging technologies in electric machines and drives play a major role in making wind power generation systems more efficient, reliable, and cost-efficient.

    “Modern electric machines and drives for wind power generation: A review of opportunities and challenges”

    Hao Chen,Yuefei Zuo,K. T. Chau,Wenxiang Zhao,Christopher H. T. Lee
    First published: 23 February 2021

  14. As I hated school, I took on a fantastic “electrical motor & controls” apprenticeship. Enabled me to be independent and climb the technology ladder. Move into electronics then computers.

    If presented with a suitable workshop now, I still think I’d be able to rewind a generator / motor. Haven’t done so in 40yrs!

    Around 1980 I rewound Bathurst’s 3 speed electric water supply motor! The Electrical Trades Union was on strike – rare, I was a senior apprentice and put in charge of rewind. Fast. No water.

    Stator was housed in a cast iron outer with iron core and air gap. The iron core has to be heated to soften the windings varnish to enable removal of old windings. The iron stator xore, very dense, retained heat and expanded. The cast iron housing cooled rapidly. The whole outer housing of rhe motor cracked! Boom. We nearly sh@t ourselves. And oh! Big problem. Fixed by super smart tradies which had mastery of the “black art ” of metals. One guy was able to straighten bent shafts in 3 hits on a lathe. Invaluable.

    And to get winding free we had to chop windings connection head off. I have never before nor since had such sore hands – from missing the chisel!

    And to top it off, it had to be rewound as thee smarty pants boss – he was smart – decided to alter winding method. He neglected the transformer effect. It had to be rewound all over again. 

    Thanks for the manufacturing memories.

  15. Mental wealth as “economic value of mental health” may be a two edge sword.


    “Developing “mental wealth” is just as important as material and commercial growth. Without this, solutions such as importing more workers or increasing course numbers are like pouring water into a leaking bucket.

    “What is mental wealth?

    “Mental wealth is a relatively new term to express the social and economic value of mental health. It has two dimensions: mental capital and mental wellbeing.”

  16. David Crowe at SMH reports that Albanese government will increase permanent migration to a record 195,000.

    Where will the energy resources come from to support such an increase in population?

    Matt tweeted @crudeoilpeak earlier today (Sep 2), including an interesting graph of Australian diesel fuel consumption in trucks vs population:

    Population growth can only explain approximately 1/3 of the increase of diesel burnt in #Australian trucks. But from the graph you can estimate future business as usual (BAU) fuel consumption growth from natural population growth plus BAU immigration #jobsummit

    I’d suggest the Australian economy will not grow while:
    * petroleum fuel (particularly diesel) prices are high and likely to go higher;
    * gas prices are high; and
    * electricity prices are high.

    A higher immigration uptake will likely worsen this situation.

  17. Yesterday. Need a second source.


    “Poland demands $1.3 trillion war reparations from Germany” … “based on “truth.” (AP)

    James, any background?

    Is this Putin & Scomo & Tony Abbott all in one?

    “Poland demands $1.3 trillion war reparations from Germany

    “WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland’s top politician said Thursday that the government will seek equivalent of some $1.3 trillion in reparations from Germany for the Nazis’ World War II invasion and occupation of his country.

    “Jaroslaw Kaczynski, leader of the Law and Justice party, announced the huge claim at the release of a long-awaited report on the cost to the country of years of Nazi German occupation as it marks 83 years since the start of World War II.

    ““We not only prepared the report but we have also taken the decision as to the further steps,” Kaczynski said during the report’s presentation.

    ““We will turn to Germany to open negotiations on the reparations,” Kaczynski said, adding it will be a “long and not an easy path” but “one day will bring success.”

    “He insisted the move would serve “true Polish-German reconciliation” that would be based on “truth.”

    “He claimed the German economy is capable of paying the bill.

    Jaroslaw Kaczynski

    “Since the 2015 victories of PiS, both in the presidential and parliamentary election, Kaczyński is considered to be the most important politician in Poland and one of the most influential European leaders. For this reason, in Poland he is called by some people the “Chief of State” (following the example ofJózef Piłsudski).[1][2][3][4] 

    “In 2020, he was designated as the Deputy Prime Minister of Poland with oversight over the defense, justice and interior ministries.”
    [Shades of Scomo]

    “Some aspects of Piłsudski’s administration, such as imprisoning his political opponents at Bereza Kartuska, remain controversial. Yet, he is highly esteemed in Polish memory and is regarded as a founder of modern independent Poland.”

  18. More from the union summit today. Australia is now (according to the Treasurer) a happy family of coincident interests with its dominant grouping favouring a “reworking” of labour bargaining processes to generate higher wages. At the same time almost everyone now agrees on the need to increase the immigration intake to help resolve the “skills shortages” that plague the economy. So the union-cum-pollie babble-sessions were not just a talkfest – they actually provided policies even if they are contradictory. Increasing the labour supply will reduce pressure on wages to rise on the basis of our surging economy but “reworking” the bargaining process (I assume they mean industry-wide judgements that give money wage increases to high and low labour productivity sectors) will increase at least nominal wages and, of course inflation. Which policy will dominate? My guess is that the labour supply policy will win so wages will show little growth overall. The extra inflation induced through industry-wide bargaining will operate to further erode real wages. This revamped bargaining process of more centralised wage fixing is the daft economics that fails to relate wages to productivity. We took decades to get rid of this nonsense but it now seems to be of resurgent interest. And that elephant in the room – the immigration intake. – escapes yet another attempt to contain it.

  19. “It seems to me in other words, Cargill, you are a climate science DENIER; like flat-Earthers, and anti-vaxxers, but far, far more dangerous.”

    Not at all – I think it’s reasonably clear that the earth is warming. I have also circumnavigated the world twice (in stages), and assured myself that the planet is indeed a sphere. And along with every childhood vaccine available since the 1950s, I have had four Covid-19 shots (2 x Astra, 1 x Pfizer, 1 x Moderna). I get a flu shot ever April as well.

    My concern about Global Warming is not to do with climate change science (although I think there is some room for discussion without being branded a DENIER in ALL CAPS), my concern is the high-speed rush to renewables, in a context of living in a modern technological economy that is based (and has been for 150 years) on cheap reliable energy.

    And a few things I have concerns (or at least questions) about :

    (1) The huge investment in wind & solar is not producing a lot of renewable power, but much more importantly, it does not produce reliable, consistent 24/7 power.
    (2) Adding another 100,000 solar panels doesn’t increase power output for half the year – although I do agree there is a lot of space and a lot of roofs in Australia to install more, although the caveat is always the massive set of transmission lines required.
    (3) What is the effective life of such panels, how are they made, from what raw materials, using how much energy, and how will the be decommissioned and recycled?
    (4) If there is a high-pressure weather system over The Bight / Western Victoria, and there is no wind, turbine power output can drop effectively to zero – and this doesn’t happen just five days a year, but much more frequently than that.
    (5) On wind turbines, the same questions arise – how long do they last, wat are they made from, how much energy is used in the process, what are the costs of decommissioning, and how can they be recycled (if at all)?
    (6) Snowy Hydro 2.0 is a scandal and a white elephant – a vanity project at best – and the cost is increasing every year – it’s a fool’s errand, particularly as snowfall is decreasing, and it will still require power from power stations for many years.
    (7) Green Hydrogen (or any colour) is more pie-in-the-sky, and another vanity project – where will the huge amounts of energy come from to run the process?
    (8) And Hydrogen is far far too dangerous to make, transport, store, and use – very specific niche markets at best – and at what cost?
    (9) EVs are another serious issue – even setting aside the enormous cost of the vehicles. How long do batteries last, what are the replacement costs, what are the mining processes involved in their production, what about disposal?
    (10) There have been some very serious battery fires – both in EVs and at stationary sites – these cannot be ignored.
    (11) Where is the electricity coming from to recharge all these EVs in the nearish future – how do you replace the energy equivalent of oceans of petroleum products used every day in transport? A few more solar panels and wind turbines are not going to do it.
    (12) There might be potential in wave and tide, but usually they are high cost, high maintenance, only suitable to very few locations, and don’t really scale.

    I could go on – but I think I have demonstrated that I have thought a lot about all these issues, and I think we need to look very realistically at all the technical and economic issues associated with all these grand plans.

    When I hear a state politician say, “All our vehicles will be EVs by the year 2030” or some such, I squirm and my toes curl … it is simply not realistic, either technically, or at a reasonable price. Even right now authorities in the UK are saying that the cost of charging an EV is now higher per km than fuelling an ICE vehicle.

    So these are not fossil-fuel industry talking points – they are genuine technical issues that I read quite a lot about, and still have serious concerns with. I certainly agree the planet is warming – I just don’t want the cure(s) to be worse than the disease with a gung-ho approach to a too-rapid adoption of half-baked programs and policies – and at what cost?

  20. “This revamped bargaining process of more centralised wage fixing is the daft economics that fails to relate wages to productivity. We took decades to get rid of this nonsense but it now seems to be of resurgent interest.”

    I think it results from greed … the wealthy have been getting wealthier, and capital has been bearing down hard on wage growth for decades (let along almost legislating unions out of existence). If you have a pro-worker (as opposed to a status quo) perspective, I would welcome any moves to increase the bargaining power of labour over capital.

    Skilled migration increases are a side issue, in terms of the bigger picture. And if skilled migrants are being welcomed to fill actual labour shortages in particular sectors or occupations, then that in itself won’t work to suppress wage growth in broad terms.

  21. Je sui beaver.

    Econ 101 makes our decisions in our environment with uncertainty, dumber than a beaver. 

  22. “Where will the energy resources come from to support such an increase in population?”

    Not sure – but not from solar panels, windmills, Snowy Hydro 2.0, or Twiggy’s Green Hydrogen unicorn! However it does sounds a bit of a media beat-up … another 195,000 punters is hardly a tsunami.

  23. Cargill: – “My concern about Global Warming is not to do with climate change science (although I think there is some room for discussion without being branded a DENIER in ALL CAPS), my concern is the high-speed rush to renewables, in a context of living in a modern technological economy that is based (and has been for 150 years) on cheap reliable energy.

    IMO, that’s a statement from a DENIER of reality.
    DENIAL of:
    * the climate emergency posing an urgent and existential threat to human civilisation;
    * the need to mitigate that threat as fast as possible with the limited solutions available before the window of opportunity closes;
    * past and ongoing costly damage to the environment and many, many people through the use of fossil fuels since the beginning of the industrial age.

    NSW’s electricity supply certainly wasn’t stable post-WW2 through to early 1970s due to inadequate generating capacity, poor quality coal, inadequate maintenance – look familiar?

    IMO, you show ignorance of the costly legacy of the plethora of:
    * abandoned and toxin leaking oil & gas wells;
    * mismanaged coal ash dams leaching toxins into riverine and aquifer systems;
    * well and mine voids destabilising surrounding environment and infrastructure – subsidence, sink holes, earth tremors, etc.

    IMO, you show ignorance of the costly and substantial morbidities and deaths from airborne particulates and toxins from emissions in the use of fossil fuels, substantially burdening many. many families, medical services and society.

    Coal is NO LONGER CHEAP.


    Petroleum, particularly diesel, is NO LONGER CHEAP


    Cargill (AUGUST 30, 2022 AT 6:16 PM): – “I get a huge amount of feedback – from both those who agreed with me and those who thought my statement was outrageous. Good fun.

    Seems to me you are a troll.

  24. Latest Australian gas flow stats for 2020-21 are now available:

    * Conventional gas production: _ 4,220 PJ +
    * Coal seam gas production: _ _ _1,510 PJ =
    * Domestic gas production: _ _ _ 5,730 PJ +
    * JPDA gas imports: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _208 PJ =
    Australian total gas supply: _ _ _ 5,938 PJ

    That supply feeds to:

    * Stocks and disc.: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _55 PJ (1.4% of total gas supply)

    * LNG plants: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 4,747 PJ (79.9% of total gas supply) for:
    – – – – LNG exports: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 4,314 PJ
    – – – – LNG plant use: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 433 PJ

    * Domestic economy: _ _ _ _ _ _ _1,136 PJ (19.1% of total gas supply) for:
    – – – – gas-fired generators: _ _ _ _ _ 390 PJ
    – – – – manufacturing: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _408 PJ
    – – – – residential: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 166 PJ
    – – – – mining (excluding LNG): _ _ _ _69 PJ
    – – – – other activities: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _103 PJ

  25. “Seems to me you are a troll.”

    And you’d be wrong … just because years ago I had a sig line that was ironic, and it generated responses? And because I have serious questions about the very rapid push to renewables? Please get a grip, and I notice you didn’t actually address any of the serious questions that I raised.

    Instead you listed a number of ills that arise from fossil fuels – many of which I of course I agree with – but still it remains a serious question: what price is a society willing to pay in order to replace its existing power generation with renewables, and how much will it cost, when will it be technically reliable, and how long will it take?

    This is especially relevant to Australia; there is something breathtakingly hypocritical that we export huge amounts of natural gas, coal, and uranium, but we deem them not to be usable in our own country.

    And further, Australia’s contribution to greenhouse gas emissions is minuscule compared to what is occurring in the big nations of the world – including especially those to which we export all those fossil fuels. China alone is increasing it’s ff-generated electricity per year by an amount greater than our current total.

    And if this is true:

    * the climate emergency posing an urgent and existential threat to human civilisation;

    and if Australian governments really believed it, we would stop all fossil-fuel extraction, exploration, and exports. But of course we don’t do that – we extract it as fast as we can to make as much money as we can, we issue more exploration licences, and meanwhile build a few more wind farms and solar arrays, and bask in the glow of virtue.

    But my biggest concern remains the initial point I made: the rush to renewables (and EVs) to my mind is far too rapid, and it leads to some very poor outcomes that I have mentioned (Snowy Hydro, Hydrogen, etc), and including lack of serious maintenance programs for our existing coal & gas fired power stations.

  26. Geoff, glad you worked out the he who must not be named “vehicular piscatorial breathing apparatus” is a fun troll. Big fish small pond syndrome.

    The vehicular piscatorial breathing apparatus is obviously hypoceital as it did not – “I notice you didn’t actually address any of the serious questions that I raised.” … as said vehicular piscatorial breathing apparatus did not address any of the facts I presented re US renewables.
    1) no fun and
    2) no caps.
    3) i gave an ultimatum.

    We have gone through this all before re burden of proof and ignor- vs -(r) ance.

    Keep up the good work re factual references Geoff.

    A googol of CAPS and facts won’t clog the vehicular piscatorial breathing apparatus” fun respiratory switch and bait transfer. Nor Beavers.

    JQ, I suggest a fresh Sandpiy-ty.

    And why hasn’t anyone informed me of the… Modigliani–Miller theorem? (Ikon, your head may expolde after reading this)
    “when the interest on debt is tax-deductible, and ignoring other frictions, the value of the company increases in proportion to the amount of debt used.[3] The additional value equals the total discounted value of future taxes saved by issuing debt instead of equity.

    “Modigliani was awarded the 1985 Nobel Prize in Economics for this and other contributions.”…

    Miller was a professor at the University of Chicago when he was awarded the 1990 Nobel Prize in Economics, along with Harry Markowitz and William F. Sharpe, for their “work in the theory of financial economics”, with Miller specifically cited for “fundamental contributions to the theory of corporate finance”.

    Which makes the Nobel Prize for “Economics” a joke on the commons.
    End Economics Nobel now.

  27. JQ tweeted earlier today (Sep 4):

    Covid pandemic may be causing more deaths than Australia’s daily numbers suggest

    Deaths from SARS-CoV-2 in Australia were:
    Period _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _Days_ Accumulated Total _ Total for Period _ Average deaths/day
    2020, Mar 01 to Dec 31: 306 _ _ _ 909 _ _ _ _ _ _ 909 _ _ _ _ _ _ 2.97
    2021, Jan 01 to Dec 31: 365 _ _ 2,239_ _ _ _ _ _1,330 _ _ _ _ _ _ 3.64
    2022, Jan 01 to Sep 04: 247 _ _14,067 _ _ _ _ 11,828 _ _ _ _ _ 47.89

    Living & dying with SARS-CoV-2.

    On the ABC’s The Virus program broadcast Friday, Sep 2, Raina MacIntyre was asked what she thought of the changes to the COVID isolation period, and she replied from time interval 0:02:11:

    Well, I think it’s important to ask what’s the problem that we’re trying to solve? And the problem is loss of business continuity, because there’s so much COVID around, and um… you know, workplaces can’t function effectively. And so this is a stop-gap solution to try to improve business continuity, but it’s probably going to do the reverse, which is make things worse, and that’s because a substantial proportion of people, anywhere between one-third to two-thirds, are still infectious after five days. So, if you send people back to work, and they can be infectious without symptoms, um… so, if you send people back to work, you’re: a) you’re creating an unsafe workplace for other people, and b) um… you’re going to have more transmission

    MacIntyre stressed that:
    * COVID is not finished.
    * Removing mitigation measures will bring on further variant waves faster and with worse consequences.
    * In the UK, employers are reporting up to one-in-four workers are unable to work in the same capacity due to ‘long-COVID’. ‘Long-COVID’ is affecting UK business continuity.
    * Vaccination efficacy is waning.

    Dr Norman Swan discussed the latest studies looking at the link between long-COVID-19 and heart and neurological issues.

    Dr Erin Howden from the Baker Institute discussed their research on ‘long-COVID’ in Australia.

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