JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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Apocalypse On. Trump appoints climate denier in charge of EPA. “Threatens planet!” like Nazi, ISIS, arsonist.

It’s an eco-Worriers nightmare. Donald Trump appointed the man who’s been suing the EPA as its new chief. Scott Pruitt   The Oklahoma Attorney General has been a leading figure in working to stop Obama’s EPA’s Clean Power Plan, an executive order that tried to circumvent Congress.

Trump heard Al Gore’s best arguments on Monday and acted accordingly.

Pruitt obviously knows the worst flaws of the EPA and in detail. He might even be able to get the EPA to tackle real environmental problems instead of fake ones. Who could be better? (Marc Morano, Nigel Farage? Hard to say).

Donald Trump will name Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, an ardent opponent of President Barack Obama’s measures to curb climate change, as head of the Environmental Protection Agency, a Trump transition team official said on Wednesday, a choice that enraged green activists and cheered the oil industry.

Trump’s choice of Pruitt fits neatly with the Republican president-elect’s promise to cut back the EPA and free up drilling and coal mining, and signals the likely rollback of much of Obama’s environmental agenda.

Since becoming the top prosecutor for the major oil- and gas-producing state in 2011, Pruitt, 48, has launched multiple lawsuits against regulations put forward by the agency he is now poised to lead, suing to block federal measures to reduce smog and curb toxic emissions from power plants. – Globe and Mail

The EPA has 17,000 employees and an $8b budget that costs the US hundreds of billions more in regulatory burdens.  Pruitt has his work cut out for him to change the culture of that behemoth.

No point pandering to the namecallers

In the arsenal of insults there’s nothing more to toss. Anyone Trump appointed would be called the planet-wrecking devil incarnate, so Trump might as well install someone really worthwhile.

Predictably, on twitter at #EPA, people who want to look like they care about the environment have run out of new names. 

Chad Nielsen: Trump’s pick of #pruitt to lead the #epa is like appointing ISIS Leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi to lead Homeland Security
Henry Marx :  Picking @AGScottPruitt to head up the #EPA is like putting Josef Mengele in charge of a medical ethics panel.
FHS Correction: Pruitt is the Attorney General of Okla. His appt. is like “Putting an arsonist in charge of putting out fires.”
FieryAdvocateSixFour ‏: .Scott Pruitt Your big business greed & myopic reckless views R revolting. ALL living beings need this planet not just Koch.
Ryan Mitchell ‏Pruitt is dangerous for our world. The #EPA needs a scientist to lead it, not a guy who thinks climate change is fake.
Dan Abrahams: Unless he also starts World War III, appointing #Pruitt as #EPA head may be Trump ‘s most apocalyptically destructive act.

James Delingpole thinks it’s great news for the environment and does a nice summary of past EPA “stars”

Probably the worst were Obama’s appointments. First, was Lisa Jackson who had previously had a disastrous stint as commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

Keep reading  →

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Turnbull government tests out “carbon price” on electricity. It bombs, then gets retracted.

It started on Monday on ABC AM when energy minister Josh Frydenberg was asked about the review about climate policies.

If you listen to the full AM program from 9 – 10:30mins he absolutely rules out an economy wide approach, but when asked about an electricity sector “emissions intensity scheme” he does say “wait and see”. Was it a bizarre slip of the tongue, or was he fishing to find out the strength of the opposition to bringing in a carbon price on electricity?

9 mins: He is asked about an energy “emission intensity scheme”.

Josh rejects any “economy wide approach”.  “”What this review has indicated is we will look at a sector-by-sector approach. The electricity sector is the one which produces the most emissions — around a third of Australia’s emissions come from that sector.”

OhOH:

Frydenberg: We know that a large number of bodies have recommended an emissions intensity scheme a baseline and credit scheme.

Any chance of that happening?

 10 minutes  Frydenberg   “Wait and see… we want to hear from the experts on the lowest cost of abatement… thats what we owe the Australian households and businesses.”

 FairFax and the ABC promptly amplified that to “Carbon price for power generators back on the table “.

To which Liberal members and skeptics unleashed their scorn. This is the exact issue that got Turnbull chucked out as leader of the opposition in 2009, and the backlash is stronger now:

Tony Abbott’s former chief of staff Peta Credlin claimed she had never seen such a reaction from backbenchers on an issue like she had yesterday.

“My phone has not stopped all day. People are really angry that they sense the party will re-litigate those issues which they had considered closed and dealt with,” she told Sky News last night.

MP’s were having none of it:

Fairfax Media spoke to 10 Coalition MPs on Monday about the prospect of an emissions intensity scheme for the electricity sector and all of them were scathing at the prospect of what is, in effect, a carbon price being re-introduced in Australia, regardless of the relative cost.

Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi, said it was “one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard. … To get back on the right economic track, we need the cheapest electricity in the world.”

West Australian MP Andrew Hastie said his overriding concern was the cost of living for families and asked: “Why would we unilaterally, economically disarm [by adopting a price on carbon]?”

So the Turnbull government had to come out and say “No way”.

The Turnbull government will maintain its blanket ban on the introduction of an emissions trading scheme and has ruled out an increase to the renewable energy target ahead of its long-awaited review of its climate change policy next year.

Environment and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg will today announce the government’s terms of reference for its review, which will look at how Australia can meet and expand on its target to reduce emissions by 26 per cent to 28 per cent on 2005 levels by 2030.

We could believe this might be a slip and a Love Media beat up, but then Barnaby Joyce appears to confirm the Coalition was thinking of putting a carbon price on electricity, saying “He said there was potential for a scheme where power generators could pay for emissions above a particular level.” Which is all a bit bizarre, since there already is a scheme that does this kind of cap N trade.  It’s called the Safeguard Mechanism, and applies to our biggest 150 corporate emitters, though at a very low level (which could always be ramped up).

Which is, of course, just another kind of tax, though it only applies to people who use electricity.
Homes with candles and Coolgardie safes will be exempt.

h/t Pat. Andrew Bolt.

UPDATE: Chris Kenny calls it Kryptonite for Turnbull

In US politics they talk about “third rail” issues, based on the extra rail that supplies electricity to New York subway trains; touch it and you are zapped.

Carbon pricing is Malcolm Turnbull’s third rail and this week he voluntarily grasped it, again.

Seven years ago last Thursday Turnbull lost the leadership of the Liberal Party because he wanted to put a price on carbon and Tony Abbott organised a revolt.

In the biggest shock since the election we returned to this ­divisive debate for a crazy 24 hours.

This was unfathomable for Turnbull — resistance within the Coalition was so strong it brought a similar fallout into the realms of possibility (although with a one-seat majority Turnbull has in-built insurance against insurgency). But he did — knowingly — reignite the Coalition’s most inflammatory debate.

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Coldest decade in Europe: 1430s — so cold people melted wine to drink, climate models have no idea why

Historic documents warn us that cold times bring death, starvation, disease. Winters were long, the crops failed, trade patterns and prices changed. Rivers froze over in Europe. The detail in this paper is fascinating. The world’s expert climate models (that’ll be NASA GISS, NCAR] don’t know what caused that extreme cold and can’t model it. If something like this were coming in the near future, they couldn’t predict it. Apparently it was due to “natural variation” which is scientific code for “we don’t know”. But the paper discusses the Spörer Minimum (SPM) in depth, and admits they don’t understand the mechanism of solar forcing which may include solar UV, or energetic particle flows. The SPM lasted from 1421 – 1550. They pretty much rule out volcanoes as the cause because the big ones in that era went off in 1453 and 1458.

Medieval Temperatures, Graph, Europe, 1300 - 1700, Little Ice Age, 1430s, 1438. Summer, winter, spring.


Figure 2. Individual paleoclimate reconstructions for summer temperature, winter temperature and summer precipitation. Left: dots are specific sites considered by the different authors (listed from 1 to 16; Table 1). Right: decadal-scale (10-year mean) summer temperature, winter temperature and summer precipitation for the 16 climate reconstructions, standardised with reference to the period 1300–1700 (datasets 6, 11 and 16: 1400–1500). The black lines enclose the decade 1430–1440.

They combined proxies like tree rings, lake sediments, and stalagmites with historical documentation. Only proxies that were able to give yearly data were used. They were able to split up summer, winter and spring to give an extraordinary amount of detail. The whole decade of the 1430′s had bitterly cold winters, but normal to warm summers. There were a series of floods on the Danuabe, in Transylvania, Austria and Hungary.

While searching through historical archives to find out more about the 15th-century climate of what is now Belgium, northern France, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands, Chantal Camenisch noticed something odd. “I realised that there was something extraordinary going on regarding the climate during the 1430s,” says the historian from the University of Bern in Switzerland.

Compared with other decades of the last millennium, many of the 1430s’ winters and some springs were extremely cold in the Low Countries, as well as in other parts of Europe. In the winter of 1432-33, people in Scotland had to use fire to melt wine in bottles before drinking it. In central Europe, many rivers and lakes froze over. In the usually mild regions of southern France, northern and central Italy, some winters lasted until April, often with late frosts. This affected food production and food prices in many parts of Europe. “For the people, it meant that they were suffering from hunger, they were sick and many of them died,” says Camenisch.

The green line in this graph represents grain prices (upside down). Hungry people had to pay a lot more in 1438.

Crop yields, southern England, middle ages, midieval era, graph.

Figure 8. Crop yields from southern England (wheat, barley, oats), Durham tithes, English grain prices and English salt prices for the years 1420–1460 (values are given as anomalies with reference to (w.r.t.) the period 1400–1479). Shown are the years 1437 and 1438 in the back-to-back grain harvest failure in southern England, the massive reduction in Durham tithe receipts and the marked inflation of grain prices for 3 consecutive years. In 1442, the harvests in southern England are again poor. As far as the agricultural impacts of the Spörer Minimum are concerned in England, 1432–1442 stands out as the worst period, especially 1436–1438 (adapted from Campbell, 2012).

She joined forces with Kathrin Keller, a climate modeller at the Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research in Bern, and other researchers, to find out more about the 1430s climate and how it impacted societies in northwestern and central Europe. Their results are published in Climate of the Past, a journal of the European Geosciences Union.

They looked into climate archives, data such as tree rings, ice cores, lake sediments and historical documents, to reconstruct the climate of the time. “The reconstructions show that the climatic conditions during the 1430s were very special. With its very cold winters and normal to warm summers, this decade is a one of a kind in the 400 years of data we were investigating, from 1300 to 1700 CE,” says Keller. “What cannot be answered by the reconstructions alone, however, is its origin — was the anomalous climate forced by external influences, such as volcanism or changes in solar activity, or was it simply the random result of natural variability inherent to the climate system?”

There have been other cold periods in Europe’s history. In 1815, the volcano Mount Tambora spewed large quantities of ash and particles into the atmosphere, blocking enough sunlight to significantly reduce temperatures in Europe and other parts of the world. But the 1430s were different, not only in what caused the cooling but also because they hadn’t been studied in detail until now.

The world’s expert climate models don’t work:

The climate simulations ran by Keller and her team showed that, while there were some volcanic eruptions and changes in solar activity around that time, these could not explain the climate pattern of the 1430s. The climate models showed instead that these conditions were due to natural variations in the climate system, a combination of natural factors that occurred by chance and meant Europe had very cold winters and normal to warm summers. [See note]

Regardless of the underlying causes of the odd climate, the 1430s were “a cruel period” for those who lived through those years, says Camenisch. “Due to this cluster of extremely cold winters with low temperatures lasting until April and May, the growing grain was damaged, as well as the vineyards and other agricultural production. Therefore, there were considerable harvest failures in many places in northwestern and central Europe. These harvest failures led to rising food prices and consequently subsistence crisis and famine. Furthermore, epidemic diseases raged in many places. Famine and epidemics led to an increase of the mortality rate.” In the paper, the authors also mention other impacts: “In the context of the crisis, minorities were blamed for harsh climatic conditions, rising food prices, famine and plague.” However, in some cities, such as Basel, Strasbourg, Cologne or London, societies adapted more constructively to the crisis by building communal granaries that made them more resilient to future food shortages.

Keller says another decade of very cold winters could happen again. “However, such temperature variations have to be seen in the context of the state of the climate system. Compared to the 15th century we live in a distinctly warmer world. As a consequence, we are affected by climate extremes in a different way — cold extremes are less cold, hot extremes are even hotter.”

Keep reading  →

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Big-government takes another hit: Brexit factor strikes Italy

More news that the little people are fed up. A big 70% of Italy’s voters turned out to turn down the referendum. The Italian PM will resign. Like Brexit and Trump, the opinion polls got it wrong underestimated the size of the “No” vote, predicting the No win with a 6% gap, which ended up being a 19% for Italians in Italy. (Italians living overseas voted very differently — 65%  for Yes). The proposal was to reduce the power of the Senate and of the regional governments. The Euro has dipped.

The global anti-establishment backlash has claimed another scalp in a result that will send shockwaves through financial markets and European capitals today.

Opposition was spearheaded by Beppe Grillo, a comedian and Eurosceptic founder of the populist Five Star Movement. He accused Mr Renzi of trying to wreck Italy’s system of checks and balances to push through laws favouring big business.

Renzi was elected as an anti-establishment man, but clearly wasn’t that at all:

Renzi, 41, took office in 2014 promising to shake up hidebound Italy and presenting himself as an anti-establishment “demolition man” determined to crash through a smothering bureaucracy and redraw the nation’s creaking institutions.

The referendum, designed to hasten the legislative process by reducing the powers of the upper house Senate and regional authorities, was to have been his crowning achievement.

Chris Kenny calls the current political climate correctly when he points out that Brexit and Trump show that Tony Abbott would have won here in Australia if he had been PM running against Shorten in July.

Keep reading  →

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More blackout damage — Alcoa smelter to run at just 27% capacity for up to six months

The fallout from the small blackout last week will cost jobs and reduce production for months to come. In Victoria, the Alcoa smelter in Portland was hit at the same time as 200,000 customers in South Australia. But the short power outage meant that hot metal turned solid at the smelter, damaging equipment. One potline is totally shut down, the other hobbles along.

Manager of Portland Aluminium, Peter Chellis, said crews had been working tirelessly to stabilise the plant since it was taken offline.

“Obviously a long power interruption freezes the metal, and when you bring the power back on that creates what we call ‘burn offs’,” he said. “So we’ve been taking the pots that can’t be fixed out of circuit, and at this point in time line two is looking quite stable.”

He said the smelter was operating at just 27 per cent of its capacity. “At the moment we haven’t started to work on any scenario other than stabilising the plant,” he said. “But I think in three to six months we can turn around lines one and two.”

 – Source: Alcoa smelter to run at 27% due to unexplained power failure

“”[If Alcoa closes] this will be a much bigger impact on the local economy, due to the small size of the town, and the large number of jobs.” says (ironically) Victorian Greens leader who wants a taskforce set up to manage the “transition”, as if talking heads can generate MW of spinning reserve.

h/t David B

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Green leader South Australia gets energy security the diesel way

Probably not what Senator Hansen-Young had in mind for South Australia:

SA irrigators, farmers turn to generators for electricity stability

By Lauren Waldhuter

Irrigators and farmers are buying diesel generators to secure their power supply, as price and stability issues continue to plague South Australia’s energy grid, industry experts have said.

Susie Green, head of the state’s apple and pear grower and cherry grower associations, said some farmers were now investing in generators for stability. “More and more I’m hearing that people are looking at forms of back-up generation for irrigation pumps and all different systems around their orchards,” she said.  — ABC

One more cost to add to the price of wind and solar powered electrons. It’s not just the cost of a blackout, it’s the dollar volatility too. As the spot price soared to $13,000 MWh power companies tell irrigators to turn off their pumps.

How much capital is tied up in fuel and generators that are bought as insurance against government mandated grid failures which are themselves the  price of “insurance” against the weather changing.

h/t David B

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Weekend Unthreaded

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Wikileaks shows climate researchers targeted to be silenced

Emails released by wikileaks show that Roger Pielke was the target of an organized political effort to stop him speaking on climate issues. Remember, Pielke is largely an IPCC type guy — supporting most of their consensus including even carbon trading. Yet straying a tiny bit from the approved line made him a major threat — the IPCC message is a whole package and a flaw in any part of it could unravel the whole kit and caboodle.

Roger Pielke was surprised to find his name in the Podesta emails:

“The multi-year campaign against me by CAP was partially funded by billionaire Tom Steyer, and involved 7 writers at CAP who collectively wrote more than 160 articles about me, trashing my work and my reputation. Over the years, several of those writers moved on to new venues, including The Guardian, Vox and ClimateTruth.org where they continued their campaign focused on creating an evil, cartoon version of me and my research.”

Collectively, they were quite successful. The campaign ultimately led to me being investigated by a member of Congress and pushed out of the field.

That story has been told in the Wall Street Journal today:

My Unhappy Life as a Climate Heretic

My research was attacked by thought police in journalism, activist groups funded by billionaires and even the White House.

The relentless combination of trial by media, combined with the RICO threat (more on that below), and the loss of his regular role at 538 , wore down Roger Pielke (and no doubt deterred many others that we will never hear from). He stopped his climate research, stopped doing interviews, and stopped his blog.

How we protect the heretics? Pielke doesn’t have much to suggest:

If academics—in any subject—are to play a meaningful role in public debate, the country will have to do a better job supporting good-faith researchers, even when their results are unwelcome. This goes for Republicans and Democrats alike, and to the administration of President-elect Trump.

He’s missing the point though. Academia is a rotting wasteland and we need to do a lot more than fight for free speech for academics. If we support all good-faith researchers, academia will keep wallowing along. (Many poor climate scientists are still doing it in “good faith”.) What we need is competence — we need researchers who understand logic and reason, and know what the scientific method is, and who will debate publicly, defend their views and fix their errors.

This is not about “Republicans and Democrats alike”. It’s not “alike”, there is no equivalence — academia has become a politburo of regressive-progressives and bias. But none of them need be fired for their political beliefs, because that would be wrong.  Let’s just fire the incompetent ones. Fire people  because they don’t know what science is, because they refuse to debate, won’t reply to questions, and don’t admit their errors. Each prof that argues from authority or launches a cheap ad hom ought get a warning: three strikes and they’re out. Furthermore, they need to teach the proper basics too — let’s test all their students to see if they understand the scientific method — and if the students fail, the prof must get the sack. If it so happens that all the regressives get the chop, it’ll be the best thing for universities, for research, and for left wing politics, because others will come to fill their shoes and bring some intellectual rigor back.

Alright, so that’s a bit of a long term goal. In the meantime, we can support the people who are on the front line with messages, comments and letters to the editor and protests to the university. Since most of these attacks are nothing more than social stings and barbs themselves, then every grateful, supportive message is an arrow in return. Every letter demanding an explanation from their superior, the VC, or a journalist is a flanking move. Never underestimate how much this kind of work helps bolster people against the tide of ill will. We can help carry people through the attacks.

Pielke talks about the troubles that drove him out of the climate debate:

Keep reading  →

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In brave PR move Kelloggs cancels Breitbart advertising and calls millions of its own customers “bigots”

It’s a novel marketing ploy to reach all the people who buy their breakfast cereals according to where they don’t advertise. It’s bound to appeal to at least three or four people, but at the risk of offending half the population.

I suspect that not too many kids plague mom and dad to buy Fruit Loops because it doesn’t support the evil Breitbart news outlet. (That’s the same one whose leading editor was so disconnected from the cereal-buying-masses that he backed the winning candidate for leader of the free world, and got a job as his right hand man. A media group on “the fringe”, eh?)

Politics is the new religion. What else explains this this latest marketing disaster, which will appeal to all the people who buy Wheeties because it’s a Democrat cereal. Investors are running. Kelloggs stocks dropped another 1.4% today.

It started when Kelloggs announced it wouldn’t advertise on Breitbart because of “values”:

Kellogg on Tuesday said it would pull its ads from Breitbart News after consumers notified the manufacturer that its products were appearing on the site. A company spokesperson told the Associated Press, “We regularly work with our media buying partners to ensure our ads do not appear on sites that aren’t aligned with our values as a company.”

Breitbart responded with #DumpKelloggs and declared the breakfast brand hates 45 million readers:

Breitbart News, one of the world’s top news publishers, has launched a #DumpKelloggs petition and called for a boycott of the ubiquitous food manufacturer.

Kellogg’s offered no examples of how Breitbart’s 45 million monthly readers fail to align with the breakfast maker’s values. Indeed, the move appears to be one more example of anout-of-touch corporation embracing false left-wing narratives used to cynically smear the hard working Americans that populate this nation’s heartland.

Breitbart News Editor-in-Chief Alexander Marlow encouraged the boycott of Kellogg’s products, describing their war against Breitbart News as bigoted and anti-American: “Breitbart News is the largest platform for pro-family content anywhere on the Internet. We are fearless advocates for traditional American values, perhaps most important among them is freedom of speech, or our motto ‘more voices, not less.’ For Kellogg’s, an American brand, to blacklist Breitbart News in order to placate left-wing totalitarians is a disgraceful act of cowardice. They insult our incredibly diverse staff and spit in the face of our 45,000,000 highly engaged, highly perceptive, highly loyal readers, many of whom are Kellogg’s customers. Boycotting Breitbart News for presenting mainstream American ideas is an act of discrimination and intense prejudice. If you serve Kellogg’s products to your family, you are serving up bigotry at your breakfast table.”

This kind of politico-bash is going on in lots of places where it makes no sense at all. Which marketing guide recommends turning a children’s toy into a political statement at Christmas?

It follows Danish multinational Lego pulling Daily Mail advertising because the newspaper promoted “hatred, discrimination and demonisation”.

Expect more marketing bombs from the hate-throwers in the new Trumpocene Era as closeted big-government fans, who happen to be CEO’s, struggle to remember what logical arguments look like.

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Parts of South Australia blackout again: BHP Chief warns of jobs and investment cuts

 Just another day with a grid on the edge

SA Blackout, December 2016. Map. Adelaide.

Adelaide and surrounds

It was only 200,000 “customers”, only for an hour or so in the middle of the night. But yet again the Great Green Experiment that is SA ran out of electricity. Olympic Dam (the largest uranium deposit in the world and fourth largest copper deposit) was not operating properly for four hours. A fault at the Victorian interconnector meant 220MW of load had to “shed” — a fancy term for throwing the switch so the whole system didn’t break. SA was “islanded” — cut off from the rest of the national grid for about 3 hours, and clearly it can’t make it on its own. Total power lost was about a fifth of the SA grid.

Remember, this has absolutely, definitely nothing to do with the last blackout or renewables says the SA Energy Minister:

Mr Koutsantonis said there was no way renewable energy generation in SA could be blamed for the loss of power.

Andrew Dillon from AusNet said the overnight outage had no link to factors that caused a recent state-wide blackout in SA, and this time was hindered by the timing of the maintenance work.

“There were some assets out of service for maintenance at that stage so unfortunately the fault couldn’t have come at a worse time,” he said.

If the interconnector had only broken during a windy, sunny day, it would have been fine, right? Just bad luck.

90% of SA windfarms were producing no electricity when the state needed it

TonyFromOz points out that wind farms were only generating at 6% of their rated capacity when the fault hit.

Wind power in South Australia was delivering 100MW of its (almost) 1600MW Nameplate, around 6.25% of total Capacity*. So, one turbine in every sixteen with it’s blades actually moving. Total Demand for South Australia at that time, even with almost everyone tucked up in bed asleep was 1150MW. Lucky this outage from Victoria (South Australia’s main electricity supplier) happened when it did, and not during the day with Total Demand up around 1500MW.

Electricity, SA, South Australia, wind farm output, Dec 2016, Graph.

(This chart is was WA time. Sigh! So “21:00″ was midnight Eastern Daylight Savings Time.UPDATED, if you see one black “subtotal line” and the graph starts at 15:00 you are looking at the updated AEST time new graph)

The SA Energy Minister thinks he can blame Victoria and BHP:

Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis said the problems were on the Victorian side of the border and “South Australia’s grid operated effectively as an island and load began to be restored within half an hour”.

He said BHP built back-up power at its mines across the world.

“Why they haven’t done so at Olympic Dam is a matter for them,” he said.

The SA Government’s message to investors is pretty clear: don’t expect SA to provide reliable electricity.

The BHP Chief was scathing:

BHP CEO Andrew Mackenzie issued an urgent warning to policy-makers after the latest incident, which comes two months after the statewide blackout led to about two weeks of lost production at Olympic Dam.

“Olympic Dam’s latest outage shows Australia’s investability and jobs are placed in peril by the failure of policy to both reduce emissions and secure affordable, dispatchable and uninterrupted power,” he said in a statement.

“The challenge to reduce emissions and grow the economy cannot fall to renewables alone.

“This is a wake-up call ahead of the COAG meeting and power supply and security must be top of the agenda and urgently addressed.”

The incident also cut power to a Victorian smelter for about three hours.

If BHP wanted to make a coal fired ultra super critical plant nearby, it could probably sell electricity to South Australians at half what they currently pay, still make a profit, cut emissions (not that that matters) and have its own guaranteed supply. But the SA government won’t let it do that. If SA Customers want to buy that cheap electricity, the SA government won’t let them.

The only thing standing in the way of cheap, reliable electricity is the SA Government.

A South Australian glassblowing business says this will cost him about $10,000 to replace equipment broken by the blackout:

“Back in September we had 14 hours of outage. It did a lot of damage to my equipment,” Mr Vereker said.

“Now I had the same thing again last night and while we were back on in a few hours, that few hours of downtime does irreplaceable damage to our furnaces and to our production. Mr Vereker said it was the busiest time of year but he had to send three of his six staff home. He was concerned there might be more damaging blackouts during summer.

“I’d be out of business in six months time…”

We are so “looking forward” to when Victoria shuts the Hazelwood coal plant next April:

“Victoria’s outage put the Alcoa smelter near Portland offline for just over three hours, authorities said.”

Did that spot price hit $13,533 MW/hr from 1.30 – 2am last night? Apparently so. Source AEMO site.

Spot Price, Soiuth Australia, electricity, graph, december 2016.

The SA partial blackout happened at 1.16am AEDT (which means at 12:45am in SA).

h/t David B, redress, TonyfromOz.

* UPDATE: I had doubts about the 6% figure but Tony was right. The wind power across the whole eastern grid was working at 10-12% at the time. In SA it was a pathetic 6%.

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