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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The money is leaving the room

There is still billions invested in research, billions circling in carbon markets, and billions tossed as government subsidies. But there are a few less billion available now than there was before Christmas. Reality bites and Green Energy is left to face the music.

Austerity pulling plug on Europe’s green subsidies

by ERIC REGULY , Globe and Mail

The Spanish and Germans are doing it. So are the French. The British might have to do it. Austerity-whacked Europe is rolling back subsidies for renewable energy as economic sanity makes a tentative comeback. Green energy is becoming unaffordable and may cost as many jobs as it creates. But the real victims are the investors who bought into the dream of endless, clean energy financed by the taxpayer. They forgot that governments often change their minds.

When the Spanish economy went into the toilet in 2008 and 2009, austerity measures were put into place. At first, it appeared the solar industry would be spared the worst of the cutbacks. That changed a bit, but only a bit, in November, when a royal decree reduced tariffs by up to 45 per cent on new PV plants; existing plants would remain untouched. Then – whammo! – a new royal decree landed with a thud just before Christmas. While it didn’t change the tariff, it retroactively limited the number of production hours that PV plants could qualify for the subsidies.

Spain’s solar industry lobby group, the Asociacion Empresarial Fotovoltaica, estimated that the second decree would effectively reduce tariffs received by PV plants by 30 per cent, forcing many of the PV companies to default on their debt. Infrastructure Investor magazine called the second decree “the Christmas Eve massacre.”


Shucks. Lets not forget that this is the same attractive tariff that encouraged producers to generate solar powered electricity around the clock — even at night time. Those tricky solar cells were not so much photo-voltaic as diesel-voltaic. The “market” valued solar power so highly that it paid to use diesel generators to produce “solar power”.

Some of those freeloaders were so audacious they kept “generating solar” even at night time, and after 4500 Megawatts had been subsidized, someone somewhere noticed. Those diesel cheats were caught, but who knows how many “day time solar guys with a diesel booster” weren’t?

My heart bleeds for those solar investors who thought they could get rich.

The austerity programs have piled on additional difficulties in the form of subsidy reductions. No government would announce “temporary” subsidies, for fear of scaring off investment in renewable energy. Still, that’s exactly what the subsidies are turning out to be. Investors everywhere are going to get slaughtered as debt-swamped governments trim or eliminate the freebies. The ailing share prices of renewable energy companies such as Spain’s Iberdrola Renovables gives you an idea of the (waning) investor sentiment.

The renewable energy bubble was inflated by government subsidies. Those same governments are now deflating them. Turns out the subsidies were too good to be true.

Hat tip to Helen. Thanks!

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54 comments to The money is leaving the room

  • #
    Ir'Rational

    “diesel-voltaic”.
    Priceless.

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  • #
    Brian G Valentine

    The tragedy is, no one seems to learn anything from anyone else’s mistakes.

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    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Truth Tweeter, Truth Tweeter. Truth Tweeter said: Austerity Pulling the Plug on Europe’s #green Subsidies http://bit.ly/fjBMlw #agw #globalwarming #eco #climate #climategate #pbs #hhrs #tpp [...]

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  • #
    Roy Hogue

    Brian,

    Certainly this country will not learn from a mere European. The more’s the pity. ;-)

    Jo,

    No heart bleed here for anyone who thought there was a get rich quick setup in renewable energy or anything else. It’s time to say, “You made your bed, now sleep in it!”

    [The" /sarc" went missing from that line. ;-) JN]

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  • #
    Percival Snodgrass

    The Dutch lose faith in windmills

    http://energiaadebate.com/the-dutch-lose-faith-in-windmills/

    In China, the true cost of Britain’s clean, green wind power experiment: Pollution on a disastrous scale

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/moslive/article-1350811/In-China-true-cost-Britains-clean-green-wind-power-experiment-Pollution-disastrous-scale.html

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    Malo

    I don’t know why we are so slow to pick this up.
    For the last 12 months I have been charging my batteries at night (at a cheap rate) so that I can use the stored power during the day when my grid connected P.V pays me 66 c/kWHr. This is how I can offset my rediculous power bills.

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  • #

    An unintended consequence for the politicians. A totally predictable outcome for any one in touch with reality. The politicians are either naive, stupid, or corrupt. I strongly suspect a substantial quantity of each in various proportions for any given politician- mostly landing on the corrupt side.

    They spend like there is no tomorrow. They have spent the accumulated wealth of the past, are getting in the way of creating wealth in the present, and are mortgaging the future for generations. Much to their surprise, tomorrow has arrived. The bill is marked due and payable but there are no funds to pay the bill. The blame game will be bloody.

    Interesting times ahead.

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  • #
    bubbagyro

    I think the clean energy investment funds and green ETFs must be investigated immediately, before they try to pull a Bernie Madoff and run. How many investors’ money have they pocketed as they knew governments were caving on subsidies, wind and solar? I am guessing that there is evidence in the files and emails that will show they knew it was a big scam and took the money anyway. Most thinking people knew, and it was the investment bankers’ business to know..

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    wes george

    Renewable energy is fraught with difficulties. In less-sunny climates, PV panels make little sense, though that hasn’t stopped Germany and Britain from installing them on rooftops everywhere. Wind power is becoming hugely popular in some parts of the world. But since the wind doesn’t always blow, backup power has to be installed. That means consumers have to pay for the capacity twice and the backup power is usually of the fossil-fuel variety. Denmark, which has a reputation as the cleanest of the clean countries, actually generates about half its electricity from coal, the grubbiest fuel. That proportion hasn’t varied in a decade in spite of the country’s relentless pursuit of wind power.

    The austerity programs have piled on additional difficulties in the form of subsidy reductions. No government would announce “temporary” subsidies, for fear of scaring off investment in renewable energy. Still, that’s exactly what the subsidies are turning out to be. Investors everywhere are going to get slaughtered as debt-swamped governments trim or eliminate the freebies. The ailing share prices of renewable energy companies such as Spain’s Iberdrola Renovables gives you an idea of the (waning) investor sentiment.

    The renewable energy bubble was inflated by government subsidies. Those same governments are now deflating them. Turns out the subsidies were too good to be true.

    Investors? Getting Slaughtered? More likely the leeches, getting Gored. (yuk, yuk;-) You know what they say about a fool and his money.

    It’s just another example of the classic unintended consequences caused by statist intervention in what should have been a free market of capital and innovation, a fertile realm for techno-social entrepreneurial creativity was turned into a pig trough for the politically favored and well-connected by greedy, self-serving pollies.

    The end result is that we all lose. Alternative energy development is set back by at least a decade and inferior dead-end technologies are artificially propped up. Tax money is wasted, even stolen. And investor confidence soured, perhaps for years to come. Once burnt, twice shy.

    Our future can never be built by a nanny state, fine weather can never be legislated by parliament. Those two basic, never-challenged, assumptions forced upon us by our climate-change elites are the most pernicious lies of our age!

    For the energy-base of our civilization to evolve rapidly beyond hydrocarbons the only way forward is to allow socio-technological evolution to proceed by encouraging a low-tax, free market of capital and ideas on a global scale where the forces of economic natural selection can work, uncorrupted by special interest protection rackets, to produce competitive results. Creativity can not be mandated by a central technocracy. Invention can not be ordered to a schedule and budget!

    Gillard, Combet and Garnaut say that we must act first—ahead of the US and China—to fight climate change with a carbon tax. We would do far better to foster the creation of a local free market of capital and innovation by lowering taxes and dumping redundant regulations. That’s the only way to accelerate technological evolution.

    Big Government, please stand aside!

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    Bruce of Newcastle

    They forgot that governments often change their minds.

    A colleague put solar cells on his roof several months ago, having done the sums and seeing the return on investment was attractive. A few weeks later the NSW Government in its unparalleled wisdom reduced the feed in tariff from 60c/kWh to 20c/kWh.

    Moral #1: believe green tinged governments at your peril. Moral #2: green tinged governments who bilk their votes are wiped out in elections.

    I would not want to be an ALP pollie come March 26th, and indeed the number of pollies quitting to spend more time with their families lately makes Sir Robin look brave.

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    janama

    Malo: @5

    great idea mate – you must be well ahead by now :)

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    Graham Richards

    When will people learn that to beleieve anything a SOCIALIST government tells you has a second agenda. Basically they they are liars & opportunists. Just look at our federal government and two state governments in particular.
    Look at the Labor party in UK, look at the current USA administration, the Irish government. No need to go on I’m sure you can all do your own research.
    But the media keep right on backing them all.

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    pat

    the figures are staggering:

    Wikipedia: Carbon Disclosure Project
    CDP works with 3,000 of the largest corporations in the world to help them ensure that an effective carbon emissions / reductions strategy is made integral to their business. This effort is taken seriously because of the size of the shareholdings backing CDP – 475 institutional investors with $55 trillion under management…
    The CDP represents 534 institutional investors, with a combined $64 trillion under management…
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_Disclosure_Project

    Largest ever investor group representing over $15 trillion calls for determined policy action on climate change
    GENEVA and NAIROBI, Nov. 16 2010/CSRwire:
    Ceres also directs the Investor Network on Climate Risk, an alliance of 90 institutional investors with collective assets totaling $9 trillion…
    The Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC) catalyzes greater investment in a low carbon economy by bringing European investors together to use their collective influence with companies, policymakers and investors. The group currently has 56 members, representing assets of around €4trillion…
    The Investor Group on Climate Change Australia/New Zealand (IGCC, Australia/New Zealand) represents institutional investors operating in Australia and New Zealand, with assets around A$500 billion, and others in the investment community…
    Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI)
    Principles for Responsible Investment, convened by UNEP FI and the UN Global Compact, was established to help investors achieve better long-term investment returns and sustainable markets through improved analysis of environmental, social and governance issues. The Initiative has over 800 signatories from 45 countries with more than $ 25 trillion of assets under management…
    http://www.csrwire.com/press_releases/31109-Largest-ever-investor-group-representing-over-15-trillion-calls-for-determined-policy-action-on-climate-change

    how many will find their Super has been invested similarly?

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  • #
    pat

    have been reluctantly watching abc-tv sunday nights for the the “South Pacific” documentary series. it’s been CAGW-free til last nite. sadly had to turn it off once the CAGW narrative began.

    checked an aljazeera program yesterday on world food prices, 3 men on the panel. one actually said more CO2 would be great for food production, the other two smirked and one had to respond, saying: u only have to go into african rural areas and they know GW is happening. there may be no definite connection between GW and the floods and cyclones in pakistan, australia etc., but this is exactly what the climate scientists have been warning would happen – more extreme weather events.

    briefly turned on a talk radio show midnite-dawn for some gold coast/northern NSW stations – seems to cover a wide area – and the presenter says: i was reading from the Buraeu of Meteorology website, sorry i mean the Govt website, about GW. i agree with 99% of what they say. what do u think about scientific thoughts er politicians’ thoughts. well politicians’ thoughts are scientific thoughts.

    it pains me that this is the calibre of the PAID media.

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  • #
    Roy Hogue

    Pat @12,

    Responsible? Holy …!

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    Robinson

    The “market” valued solar power so highly that it paid to use diesel generators to produce “solar power”.

    Did that seriously happen? Hahaha. It’s like an episode of Yes Minister.

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  • #
    pat

    7 Feb: Gold Coast Bulletin: Matthew Killoran: Shepherd calls for council water summit
    AN emergency summit to drive down soaring water prices could be held between Gold Coast, Logan and Redland councils in the coming weeks.
    Councillor Ted Shepherd will push the council today to unite with their co-owners in water retailer-distributor Allconnex Water in the wake of unprecedented public outcry at the surge in water costs…
    Cr Shepherd said his proposal was about councils taking control back from the “overly-bureaucratic” Allconnex.
    “As shareholders we can say ‘this is out of control and you have to take note of our residents’ concerns’,” he said.
    “We have to say to the Allconnex CEO (Kim Wood) cut back on your staffing levels, don’t aim for the stars for infrastructure and don’t put the prices up.”…
    http://www.goldcoast.com.au/article/2011/02/07/289881_gold-coast-news.html

    7 Feb: Gold Coast Bulletin: Call for council to control water rejected
    Queensland Water Commission chief executive Karen Waldman said the State Government was not going to dismantle distributor-retailers, such as Allconnex…
    http://www.goldcoast.com.au/article/2011/02/07/289965_gold-coast-news.html

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  • #
    Percival Snodgrass

    “pat” (13), We d/l the entire series before it was screened on Australian TV.
    We, like you, enjoyed it until the final BS episode.
    We only watched the first few minutes of it to know it was more BRAINWASHING.
    Obviously the previous episodes were meant to “soften you up” to the REAL agenda of the series – TO PROMOTE THE GLOBAL WARMING FRAUD!

    I have deleted the entire show from the PC – a waste of space!

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    A C of Adelaide

    Many years ago I had a discussion with a colleague about the Creation Science/Evolution debate which was raging at the time. The debate just seemed to be always at cross purposes and neither side seemed to be able to land a blow. My colleague explained to me that the problem was with what one considered to have the status of a “fact”.

    In science the data is taken to be “fact” and the hypothesis/theory is tested against the data. In religion the starting point is the theory, (usually a God-given) which has the status of “fact”. All data must of necessity confirm the theory and so can be re- interpreted, manipulated, or simply rejected as unreliable if it fails to do that.
    Both sides accused the other of playing fast and loose with the others “facts”.

    I see a lot of parallels between what my colleague said then and the inability of the AGW crowd and the sceptics to make any progress in the form of a debate.

    The sceptics consistently want to talk data as one would expect scientists to do, but are mocked for having no theory or multiple theories which is taken as evidence they don’t know what they are talking about. On the other hand the AGW people do seem to have the attributes consistent with the religionist side of the Creation debate.
     The theory has the status of “fact” and is immutable “The science is settled.”
     Refusal to debate on the basis of data.
     Little respect for the data. The data can be rejected, homogenised, or back written to fit with the requirements of the theory.
     All data must of necessity prove the theory, so there can be no contradiction between both hot and cold or wet and dry, all supporting the theory.

    What’s more, I see this as a general trend in post-normal, leftist, science (particularly environmental science). There is a general trend towards generating theories based on leftist ideology, which are taken to be “fact”, and then manipulating the data to fit those theories. This is in direct contradiction to the normal scientific method.

    The key word is ought. In post-normal science, the world ought to be consistent with leftist moral and ethical principles, and so scientific theories ought demonstrate the correctness of those leftist principles.

    In environmental science, capitalism/industrialisation is BAD and therefore ought have negative environmental consequences. This is the soft leftist starting point which has the status of “fact” and from this “fact” all else follows. Any scientific theory which appears to support this statement of fact ought to be correct and data needs to be collected to prove it.

    Thus anthropogenic CO2 is produced by capitalism/industrialisation and so ought to change the climate and that climate change ought to be bad.
    So AGW science goes:
    Look for evidence of BAD things happening.
    Make a link between that and global warming
    Link that warming to rising CO2.
    Link the rising CO2 to capitalism/industrialisation

    Therefore capitalism/industrialisation is BAD and must be stopped to prevent BAD.
    To provide a link to this article: In the leftist world view, renewables ought to be good for the environment, therefore they ought to be good for the economy as well.

    We have long seen this with the social sciences where leftist education, immigration, and Indigenous affairs policy are obviously dismal failures but are unchallenged because they ought to work.
    Now we are seeing it leak into the physical sciences.

    If I was pressed to say what could or should happen next I would point out that from the leftist position it is only Western capitalism/industrialisation which is BAD. AGW theory is supposed to really be only an attack on Western nations, hence the failure in Copenhagen when some of the heat started to be directed at China and India, causing everyone else to back off. If one was to keep pointing to the rise of anthropogenic CO2 in developing countries (which is not BAD) and focus on Chinese coal powered expansion plans, I believe the debate will be quickly defused. The AGW theory would no longer be a useful tool in this capitalism/industrialisation is BAD meme and the leftists would have to find a new avenue for their attack on capitalism.

    I have no doubt they will quickly find one.

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    Bulldust

    Always amusing to watch individuals or governments try to control markets… they never learn. Remember the Internation Tin Cartel? The wool pricing fiasco? Sooner or later market economic forces catch up with them and pays out big time. So it is with unsustainable (I like using their terminology against them) renewables subsidies.

    At least they still have the generator capacity to produce the “solar power” in Spain… Australia’s problem is that power capacity is not being installed due to the uncertainty created by Labor. First an ETS, then no ETS, then a promise of no price on CO2, now a promise of a price on CO2. While the uncertainty makes a mockery of Labor’s (non) policies it causes massive disruption in the investment arena.

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    Bulldust

    PS> Just saw the Newspoll graph at The Australian:
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/#
    Labor is at its lowest primary preferred (PP) in a year… including when they dumped Rudd citing the PP as the reason. How long has Joolya got?

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  • #
    pattoh

    Mr Bulldust @ 20

    I seem to recollect Richo making a comment on Q & A about Kev’s future about a year ago. It will be interesting if Tony Jones puts the same question to him tonight.

    I’ll bet Amanda Vanstone will if he doesn’t!

    Herranganess Fabiana will I am sure be following.

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    Geoff Sherrington

    Diesel generators feeding back to solar rebates reminds me of a story from China that I can’t vouch for.

    Chairman Mao determined that a rat plague would be combatted by a compulsory requirement to hand in two rat tails per person per week, for compensation. In a matter of days, rat farms had sprung up to provide rat tails to citizens for less than the rebate and for no effort in trapping.

    Now we have smart electricity meters that are compulsory (how???). Brighter minds than mine need to show a way to turn the tables like the rat scheme did.

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    janama

    OT – there was a wonderful reply to the editor SMH this morning the Mike Carl;ton’s dummy spit.
    In case you missed it:

    As Mike Carlton notes, it certainly has been a dramatic year for the weather ( ”Flat-earthers, it’s time for a cold shower”, February 5-6), but before we lose our heads,

    a quick look at the record books indicates things have been as bad or worse in the past.

    At the risk of being labelled a heretic, 1918, for instance, saw two cyclones kill more than a hundred people in north Queensland; both were more intense than cyclone Yasi. There were record floods in eastern Australia, including the great Rockhampton flood that saw the Fitzroy River rise to its highest level.

    There were notable floods also in New Zealand, Germany, England, and Africa. Meanwhile, heatwaves swept Australia (Sydney, Victoria, Perth, Brisbane), and Pennsylvania; and droughts occurred in Australia, Norway, India, North America, Brazil and Africa. Blizzards affected the eastern United States with the ”coldest weather in history”.

    There were also snowstorms in New Zealand, Argentina and in Europe, and tornadoes destroyed towns in the US.

    Space limits a wider examination, but I think readers will get the point without needing to mention the extraordinary weather events of 1893, 1927 or 1934. Sadly for some, with no appreciation of history, the sky is always falling in.

    Marc Hendrickx Berowra Heights

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    Bill Pounder

    Yes Robinson, it did happen. Solar power at night. It’s amazing, really!

    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_iCyUsWAeuro/S8Qd4g0b5mI/AAAAAAAABIU/Gjb44UuHtVw/s1600/solar+espana.jpg

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    overseasinsider

    I am seriously surpised that no one (to my knowledge) has noted that the new “Australian of the Year” is an INVESTMENT Banker AND the head of the CSIRO (our government science office and national research organisation). Now, just having an investment banker in charge of our top scientific organisation is bad enough, but now our red-headed fiasco has appointed him Australian of the Year, so she has a bult in soap-box to beat the CAGW dead horse as frequently as she wants and impliment the Carbon Tax with his support!!!

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    incoherent rambler

    Hopefully Julia 3.17 is in for hard time on the issue of CAGW. Damage to budget from floods will place greater pressure on the funding of carbon schemes.

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    Percival Snodgrass

    “overseasinsider” (26),
    Some articles pertaining to this “individual” Simon McKeon……….

    (Simon McKeon) – Under attack but the flag will still fly:-

    http://blogs.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/piersakerman/index.php/dailytelegraph/comments/under_attack_but_the_flag_will_still_fly/

    Bankers spread into “science”:-

    http://joannenova.com.au/2010/06/bankers-spread-into-science/comment-page-2/#comment-59101

    The CSIRO chairman’s yacht no measure of global warming:-

    http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/column_the_csiro_chairmans_yacht_no_measure_of_global_warming/

    No doubt it is this left leaning bias which influenced the choice of Simon McKeon as our latest Australian of the year. No doubt he has put in his time and money into a number of philanthropical ventures. But as head of Macquarie Bank he’s not been shy about raping the poor old citizen while turning a nice profit either. Of course he didn’t force the Government of the time to sell Macquarie the airports cheaply thus enabling them to achieve major windfall profits at no risk. They raised the landing fees, charged more for parking, charged taxis for making pick-ups and they had ‘no parking’ signs placed on all the roads leading to the airport to stop people parking for free while they wait for a loved one to arrive at the airport. Yes he’s a real philanthropist!
    Of course McKeon was also recently appointed chairman of the CSIRO, another left leaning organisation which seems to have abandoned it’s past glorious history of scientific investigation in preference to empire building by supporting government policy. The CSIRO is being used effectively as part of the Government’s propaganda campaign to support carbon trading and/or a carbon price. McKeon is a self confessed climate alarmist. Unfortunately he seems to have little ability for logical scientific investigation. It depresses me to know he is head of Australia’s premier scientific establishment and will be able to use his period as Australian of the Year to preach the Government’s message on climate change. I have no doubt this was a major consideration in his selection.
    Here is an example of this genius’s analysis relating to climate: (The Age Feb 25 2008)
    CHANGE is in the wind, and it’s the wind that gave Macquarie Bank’s Melbourne executive chairman, Simon McKeon, his personal climate change experience — as a yachtsman.
    Mr McKeon recalls a rainy wind that blew regularly from the south-west across Waratah Bay, next to Wilsons Promontory.
    In the 1980s and ’90s, the wind was so consistent Mr McKeon and a syndicate of like-minded sailing fans developed a yacht tailored to it so they could break the world speed-sailing record — the group held the record for 11 years.
    In 2004, they lost the title to the French, and have tried to regain it ever since.
    “In the last few years, that wind has … evaporated,” Mr McKeon says.
    This observation helped convince him to begin minimising carbon emissions.
    A meter at his home tells his family their real-time power usage. And his conviction has led him to become a business community ambassador for Earth Hour, advocating to businesses the value of switching off their lights for one hour at 8pm on March 29.
    “That wind has evaporated”! What the hell does that mean? How is this proof of global warming/climate change? How does this prove man-made CO2 emissions had anything to do with the wind ‘evaporating’? What studies have been done to confirm his perception of what has happened to that wind? Doesn’t he know the earth’s climate changes all the time?
    This is the head of our premier scientific establishment. If that is not an appointment by the left leaning power brokers who are pursuing policy rather than scientific excellence I don’t know what is.

    ALL IN ALL “Simon McKeon” IS A LEFTIST SCUMBAG!

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    Mark

    Oh God, the agony of it all.

    Flicking through the Austar just now and arrived at a “debate” between O’Farrell and Keneally. Arch lefty Quentin Dempster moderating. O’Farrell doesn’t support a price on “carbon” (grrr… how I detest that description), Keneally waxes lyrical about it. How dumb is this gal and how dumb does she think we all are? OK, reckon the answer to the second question is obvious. Can’t really say that O’Farrell impressed me all that much though.

    Bye bye Kristina, I think you’re about to make Joan Kirner’s annihilation in the nineties look like a victory party.

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    Nick

    Pat @ 12

    I was wnodering where the next financial and global game changer was going to come from.

    I think you just found it for me.

    When the green house of cards gets too high and unstable to handle? Moving all that cash around to “Safe Havens” will casue colametous distruption.

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    observa

    Remember Keanneally’s recent change of heart on solar feed-in tarriffs in more ways than one followed by Gillard’s about face on green loans/inspectors, etc. Floating a flood levy certainly raised the electorate’s eyebrows re big tax and spend Labor and Kenneally trots out another apology to the working families doing it tough with rising prices. The electorate is in no mood for carbon taxing and higher petrol and power bills anymore.

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    Mark

    Observation:

    Rumours are forming that Joolya’s tenure as PM might be, umm, tenuous.

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    Mark

    Sorry about that observa. Whenever I let my guard down, the predictive text feature gets delusions of grandeur.

    Smarty-pants iPad.

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    Lawrie

    The Australian A Plus section features a piece on power gen. The head of Australian Energy market Operator, Matt Zema, says that uncertainty is keeping investors away. He also mentions that coal generated electricity costs about $40 per Mw while wind is near $200 per Mw. He also points out that last Monday at 4.30pm in SA they were drawing a record 3399 Mw of which wind was contributing 49 Mw. Thats right folks 49 Mw out of an installed capacity in SA of 1150 Mw. 4.26% and the wind guys reckon we should be building more and upping the subsidies so they can compete with dirty, efficient and reliable 24/7 coal.

    Once again the government try and back winners and all we see is waste and disasters. Percival Snodgrass in an early comment points to the environmental disaster in China resulting from the extraction of Lanthanides for windmill magnets. Bit like the disaster with compact flouros.

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    Bulldust

    Interesting how the last half dozen or so comments I made at the following ABC blog did not make it past the censors moderators:

    http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/43560.html

    So I have cross-posted my last attempt, but somehow I don’t think that will make it either. Clearly the mods are becoming like RC and unskepticalscience…

    I’d continue to debate but the last half dozen or so comments I made, and well within the blog guidelines, did not make it past the moderators. I shall ross-post this to Jo Nova. It seems censorship is alive and well now at the ABC as well. Starting to smell like (un)sketicalscience around here.

    I wonder if I should lodge a formal complaint…

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    bananabender

    Warren Buffett said to never invest in a company that relies on government subsidies. In Australia Geodynamics, Petratherm and Linc Energy are all in poor shape financially.

    Remember all those timber plantation investments a few years ago?

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    Joe Lalonde

    Jo,

    Every time the government changes their policies (putting their hands in the cookie jar), the lid comes slamming down. They have no concept of the lives they have disrupted or the added costs to the burdened taxpayer.

    An Industry Minister once sent me a letter stating that “any substitutes are unsustainable due to paying more than what it is worth over the long run”.
    So, these 20 year contracts for building all these wind power and solar power stations are pure politics and not good policy.

    I have not seen a good politician in years and have had to vote for “who will screw me the least”.

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    Ian Hill

    I enjoyed reading A C of Adelaide’s comments @20.

    It reminds me of the astronomy/astrology confusion and how the two are often interchanged by the great “unwashed”, much to the consternation of the adherents of the former. There’s no “debate” as such between the two though, although I’ve seen some heated “clarification” put forward by the astrologers, particularly when an astronomer will point out with sarcasm that his star sign is “Ophiuchus”. They just use the same set of stars and planets for completely different purposes, one for science and the other for, well I’m not sure what but let’s call it “entertainment”.

    The “facts” for astronomers are the physics and chemistry of all the various components of the Universe. For the astrologers they are merely the relative positions of these components. From there they are able to make predictions that each of one twelfth of the population will have exactly the same sort of day and these are followed religiously by millions every day. I’ve often wondered how they explain the deaths of twins who pass away on different dates.

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    janama

    Bulldust @ 37

    yeah – I’ve given up posting at the Australian Bitch Corporation.

    maybe it’s my attitude.

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    Mervyn Sullivan

    I am pleased to announce that a Californian judge has halted California’s cap and trade law:

    Read about it here:

    http://biggovernment.com/asparks/2011/02/05/judge-halts-implementation-of-california-cap-and-tax/

    As you would have noticed, this important decision last week has not been widely reported in the mainstream media… but of course, WE ALL KNOW WHY!!!!!!!

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    Joe Lalonde

    Jo,

    The world monetary collapse is inevitable due to the structure of the free market. The biggest profits are the areas investors are flocking to. From carbon trade to heavy substitutes money is siphoned out of economies.
    We are currently on the brink of a worldwide food shortage. Do you not think this will cause a great deal of unrest in the population if they are starving to death as the food price become beyond reach of even the middle class?
    The current weather patterns are creating great hardships on farmers when their farmland is underwater or the growing season is far shorter than what they are planting.

    Yet climate science is insisting that the planet is still warming and causing the cold.
    I don’t like to be assumed as an idiot being lead by the nose for a bad theory.

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    Bernd Felsche

    Bulldust,

    After finding my comments on ALP BC fora inexplicably “moderated”, I began adding the following to my comments: [comment logged for audit]

    And before pressing the button to commit the post, I copied the text along with a timestamp to a my audit trail of postings.

    I see that being held accountable seems to be one of the great fears of the century: Comments tagged in that manner appeared.

    It is critical that you do keep that audit trail of your own. It takes a few seconds of effort per comment, but it lets the “moderators” know that you’re serious and, like a note in a personal diary, can be used for an actual audit.

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    Mervyn Sullivan

    The man-made global warming charlatans are in for an one great big enormous sock with this latest news!

    NASA has been warning about it…scientific papers have been written about it…geologists have seen its traces in rock strata and ice core samples… Now “it” is here: an unstoppable magnetic pole shift that has sped up and is causing life-threatening havoc with the world’s weather.

    Forget about global warming—man-made or natural—what drives planetary weather patterns is the climate and what drives the climate is the sun’s magnetosphere and its electromagnetic interaction with a planet’s own magnetic field.

    When the field shifts, when it fluctuates, when it goes into flux and begins to become unstable anything can happen. And what normally happens is that all hell breaks loose.

    Magnetic polar shifts have occurred many times in Earth’s history. It’s happening again now to every planet in the solar system including Earth.

    The magnetic field drives weather to a significant degree and when that field starts migrating superstorms start erupting.

    Read about it here:

    http://www.salem-news.com/articles/february042011/global-superstorms-ta.php

    Check mater Bob Brown! Check mate Ross Garnaut! Check mate Tim Flannery! Check mate David Karoly! Check mate all those climate change charlatans who blame our CO2 emissions as the key driver of global warming and climate change!

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    incoherent rambler

    C of Adelaide

    This post is a thunderous round of applause. I have often comtemplated how the AGW garbage survives and never come up with an explanation. You explanation is as good as I have seen. Thank you for the post.
    -

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    BobC

    A C of Adelaide @21:

    Great analysis! Your explanation of “Post-Normal Science”:

    The key word is ought. In post-normal science, the world ought to be consistent with leftist moral and ethical principles, and so scientific theories ought demonstrate the correctness of those leftist principles.

    In environmental science, capitalism/industrialisation is BAD and therefore ought have negative environmental consequences. This is the soft leftist starting point which has the status of “fact” and from this “fact” all else follows. Any scientific theory which appears to support this statement of fact ought to be correct and data needs to be collected to prove it.

    Thus anthropogenic CO2 is produced by capitalism/industrialisation and so ought to change the climate and that climate change ought to be bad.
    So AGW science goes:
    Look for evidence of BAD things happening.
    Make a link between that and global warming
    Link that warming to rising CO2.
    Link the rising CO2 to capitalism/industrialisation

    Therefore capitalism/industrialisation is BAD and must be stopped to prevent BAD.
    To provide a link to this article: In the leftist world view, renewables ought to be good for the environment, therefore they ought to be good for the economy as well.

    Fits nicely with Mike Carlton’s rant in the Sydney Morning Herald, as referenced by a number of posters. Of course, Carlton adds a lot of cursing and name-calling to the basic meme, since he is not capable of higher analysis.

    Most of the pro-AGW arguments we see here follow this course rather closely.

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    ” Austerity-whacked Europe is rolling back subsidies for renewable energy as economic sanity makes a tentative comeback. ”

    Who will pick up the tab, when the green agenda collapses?

    In Europe it will be many who had absolutely no idea it was their money that was invested in it.
    From Part 5 of,
    http://www.globalwarmingskeptics.info/forums/thread-1108.html

    Excerpt,
    The Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC) is a forum for
    collaboration on climate change for European investors.
    http://www.iigcc.org/
    If your pension is with one of the listed members of the IIGCC, then
    may be the IIGCC should be of interest to you, and
    possibly indicates your pensions future security…
    IIGCC members
    http://www.iigcc.org/about-us/members
    I have not mentioned Robert Napier either. The below link should suffice..
    Eco-Imperialism – every Environmentalist’s Dream
    http://buythetruth.wordpress.com/2009/08…sts-dream/
    He is a very, very busy man indeed..

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    Craig Goodrich

    The UK, for a thousand years the closest to sanity of any government on the planet (“closest” being, of course, a relative term), is now about to squander billions on PV subsidies, having despoiled hundreds of thousands of acres of wilderness and coastline with utterly useless wind turbines.

    Has anyone attempted to measure, in quantitative terms, precisely how delusional the political class has to be to subsidize solar power in a country where an integral part of every well-dressed gentleman’s kit is his faithful brolly?

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    Roy Hogue

    Mervyn Sullivan @43,

    I am pleased to announce that a Californian judge has halted California’s cap and trade law:

    Best news I’ve heard in years! I hope it’s not too good to be true.

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    pat

    what planet is Garnaut from?

    7 Feb: Brisbane Times: Australian climate action ‘influences US’
    by Paul Osborne, AAP Senior Political Writer
    The Gillard government’s key climate advisor (Professor Ross Garnaut ) says Australia’s move to put a price on carbon could help pressure the United States and Canada to take action on greenhouse emissions…
    “Australian success in introducing a carbon price is likely to assist the United States and Canada to maintain momentum in policies to reduce emissions.”…
    http://news.brisbanetimes.com.au/breaking-news-national/australian-climate-action-influences-us-20110207-1ajdf.html?from=smh_ft

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    David

    Call Me Dave trumpeted that the UK coalition government was going to be the ‘greenest ever’.
    Well – it might just turn out to be that – but not in the sense that he meant..
    ‘Green’ also means ‘naive; inexperienced’ – and when it comes to managing energy security that’s precisely what they are proving to be.
    Despite £6bn spent on ‘renewables’ (that’s windmills to you and me) – during the coldest spells before and after Christmas 2010 – when nice anticyclones sat above the British Isles – for long periods the proportion of electricity demand (peaking at 60000MW) provided by wind farms was…. 0.1%.
    Doesn’t seem like particularly efficient use of our subsidy money to me…

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    [...] La bourse climatique de Chicago s’est effondrée fin 2010. Ce n’était pas l’amorce, bien que ce fusse une victime précoce de la même tendance. Les Républicains ont gagné la Chambre des Représentants des États-Unis en Novembre 2010 et le Cap & Trade était dès lors tenu pour mort. En Février 2011, les énergies renouvelables sortaient de l’agenda de « l’Europe de l’austérité » et je notais que l’argent quittait la place. [...]

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