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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Most Useless Flagrant Flop of Government (MUFFOG 2012): Finalist — Victorian Desal

In a competitive field it’s going to hard to beat this.

In 2007 the Victorian Government thought it was a good idea to spend $24 billion to build a humungously big desalination plant. There was a drought on at the time, and a specialist in small dead mammals said the drought would never end.  But now Victorian households will pay up to $310 extra in water bills next year, and something like that every year for the next 28 years until it’s paid off.

Even the people running the plant say it’s too big,

Herald Sun EXCLUSIVE: THE French boss of the troubled Wonthaggi desalination plant has admitted for the first time that the plant is too big for Melbourne’s water needs.

Suez Environment chief executive Jean-Louis Chaussade told the Herald Sun the size of the plant was based on unrealistic rainfall expectations.

“The design was done to provide water to the full city of Melbourne in case of no rain during one year – which was not realistic … The details why it was 150GL per year, I don’t know,” he said.

Which bright spark believed the government paid advertising that said there will be endless droughts? Who came up with the 28-billion-dollar-idea that Melbourne, (Melbourne?!) would run out of rain for a year?

With only 150 years of rainfall data to go from, who could have possibly have predicted that it would keep raining?

Melbourne Regional Office Rainfall 1855 – 2011  [BOM Source]

Current Melbourne Water Storage capacity: 81% full.

The Wonthaggi Desal project impressed me with the sheer statewide scope of payments and precocious length of encumberment. Children not yet conceived will be paying one day too. The entire productive output scored highly for “Useless” and we already know its Flagrant before it’s even finished. There are few accidental offsetting benefits.

These are the nicest things people can say about it:

  1. Because it will last for 50 – 100 years, even though it may not be useful it is ” an enormous investment in quality assurance.”
  2. It has cost a lot to get something the people of Victoria may not need, but  “The investment and effort has paid off and resulted in an extremely efficient and successful commissioning phase.” (If anyone is short of a Commissioning Phase they can get one in Victoria.)
  3. It is insurance against the next drought: “Are you sure that in the coming 30 or 50 years you will not have a drought? Are you willing to bet on that?” (Jo thinks: How much does a drought cost, it might be cheaper?)*

Lets follow that thought…

Do droughts cost less than Desal?

According to Environment Victoria: “The 2002-3 drought was estimated to cost the economy around $6.6 billion.”

Perhaps we could have built a dam?

The other alternative  is to wait for the drought and buy up some water. When you have $24 billion to spend we might be able to fly in crates of Mt Franklin Spring Water from Hobart.

—————–

I know there will be other contenders for the 2012 Most Useless Flagrant Flop Of Government (MUFFOG). There are probably also contenders for Brand New Meaningless Award Acronym. Do send ‘em.

PS: “Mr Chaussade’s company is suing the State Government for $1 billion to reclaim losses from the job.”

*Jokes aside. Droughts cost more than money. Which is why we need climate models that predict them.

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Rating: 9.4/10 (87 votes cast)
Most Useless Flagrant Flop of Government (MUFFOG 2012): Finalist -- Victorian Desal, 9.4 out of 10 based on 87 ratings

Tiny Url for this post: http://tinyurl.com/lphyfpc

257 comments to Most Useless Flagrant Flop of Government (MUFFOG 2012): Finalist — Victorian Desal

  • #
    Jim Barker

    Perhaps a silly idea, but start marketing the output as bottled water? Provide it as disaster supplies to the needy?


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    • #
      MadJak

      How about we pump the excess water into the backyards of the people who approved the plan?

      We might need to pay a bit more and built a water tight wall around their homes so the only effect their neighbours have is the extra $310 per annum.

      I for one would pay an extra $5 per year to fund the stupidity tanks.


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      • #
        Aard Knox

        How about using that other white elephant, the North-South pipeline, to supply some of Victoria’s share of the water South Australia uses to keep Lake Alexandrina fresh?
        Remember the pipeline? Plugged before it was ever used.


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        • #
          JayTYee

          That’s something I’ve been saying for ages. Trouble is, while it was touted as being a two way pipe when it was being built and when it was “opened”, it never was. The idea of pumping the Desal water up to the Goulburn is worth pursuing, but I can’t even get Topher to listen.


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  • #
    Roy Hogue

    Tesla

    Solyndra

    Chevy Volt (is bound to be)

    Wind power

    Solar power

    In terms of money down the drain there are hundreds of UFFOGs. Which one will be next year’s MUFFOG? Obama’s new multi billion stimulus plan will be at the top of my list.


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    • #

      OK OK Roy, we need two categories. One is Absolute Dollars Wasted (The US or EU wins). The other is “per capita” whereupon Australia, and even State Governments can aim for the big league.

      Wonthaggi is “per household” — I’m sure we can convert it to per capita…

      We need hard numbers, not just these ambit claims… Unless I’m missing something, Solyandra was only a half a billion in wasted subsidies from a nation of 300m. I’m sure you can do better than that. ;-)


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      • #
        Truthseeker

        Jo, I did a Bing search for MUFFOG and this post was at the top of the list. Let’s see if it gets into our vocabulary or not.


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      • #
        Ian Mott

        Spot on, Jo. That $28 billion is $1,272 for every Australian and $3,300 for every Australian household. That will buy two 10,000 litre water tanks for every home. In a 600mm Rf zone a standard 250m2 roof will supply 150KL and make that dwelling more than 70% independent of mains water. In Victoria, with 1/3rd of the Aust population it would provide 6 x 10,000 litre tanks which is far in excess of what the average roof could deliver.


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      • #
        Roy Hogue

        I’m sure you can do better than that.

        Then how about this? Obama has proposed a new round of stimulus spending and tax cuts for the wrong people (if he wants economic recovery) totaling $447 billion. This is just proposed as of now.

        The last stimulus package was (hope I remember) ~ $700 or 800 billion — money actually borrowed or will be, most of it spent.

        Then by your figures we have spent in excess of $80 billion on climate change research.

        Just counting the $700 billion figure it’s roughly $2,187.50/person in this country of roughly 320 million.

        Would you like to go back as far as George Bush? If so then add another $870 billion.

        I’m getting a sinking feeling just from typing this.

        Keep in mind that I don’t keep books on the Federal Government and have little time to do more than cursory research, so these numbers are from memory and subject to revision without notice (like most of what you get from government :-( ).

        Roy


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        • #
          Crakar24

          The difference here Roy is that ALL the money you speak of went straight to the bankers at least here in Oz we got a building made of concrete to show for it.

          The desal in South Australia (still under construction, over budget and over costs) will be run for two years, not because we need the water but that is when the warranty runs out. After this two year period it will be mothballed so once again we have a very expensive building to show for our waste of money.

          PS Here is another acronym WOFTAM, waste of fu%^$ng time and money


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          • #
            Old Ted.

            All the money always goes to” the banks” anyway, just some more directly.

            But, really, where did this desal money go? Who benefitted? Which banks?

            The ALP governments in both Victoria and NSW plunged into desal plants at about the same time. Sydney had no need for such expenditure at all. Sydney managed very well for water through the drought, thanks to the foresight of an earlier generation.

            The current ICAC inquiry into government corruption in NSW and the daily news from that tell us that there should also be an inquiry into the decisions to build these desal plants. The decisions were bizarre.

            What both Sydney and Melbourne needed to and must eventually do is recycle their water, not dump it in the ocean. The bizarre thing there is that 50 years ago Melbourne was the standing example for the world in water recycling


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      • #
        Mark D.

        Jo quips:

        Solyandra was only a half a billion in wasted subsidies from a nation of 300m. I’m sure you can do better than that.

        I’m sure you are right. I’d rather we get out of that race though.


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        JayTYee

        Of course, in that case the NBN should at least get a ribbon.


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      Dylan

      Tesla. Seriously?


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      Crakar24

      Speaking of Chevy Volts Roy an associate of mine is right into this whole global warming thing even though i have debated him into numerous corners in the past. He has now built himself an electric car and to show it off he got his ugly mug into the local paper the other day.

      He made the extraordinary claim that all he needs to do is check the wipers and the tyres everytime he goes for a drive, important points that conveniently left out:

      1, He charges the car from electricity produced from a coal fired power station.
      2, The car can only travel a few kilometers before it runs out of power.
      3, The car is impractable for every day use due to the weight of the batteries the car is very, very small.
      4, You need to check a lot more than just the wipers and tyres.

      As always the only way the envisioned green utopia can exist is if you reject normal reality and substitute it with your own.


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  • #
    Doug Proctor

    *Jokes aside. Droughts cost more than money. Which is why we need climate models that predict them.

    This is the argument that says we also need running fossil fuel power plants in case solar and windpower doesn’t provide enough some year: energy shortages cost more than money.


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    • #
      AndyG55

      Imagine Sydney or Melbourne with no power or water for a week.

      In the case of desal, no power means no water produced. DOH !


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    • #
      Tel

      Water is a lot easier to keep in storage than electricity, and yes I know that you can use water as a storage for electricity, but only if you have a big mountain to put the water on, and most suitable places are already taken in Australia (e.g. Lake Jindabyne).


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      • #

        Tel,

        In North Wales (less than 3 hours drive from my house in Manchester) there is just such an example of water being storage for electricity. At Dinorwig in Snowdonia is a pump storage scheme capable of generating 1320MW for up to 5 hours. This was great in the 1970s when you had (1) mostly coal and nuclear power stations with steady baseload (2) predictable peaks in requirements (in the evenings, or when a popular soap opera had nearly 50% of the population switching on kettles at the same time). Both these have now disappeared, so this marvelous feat of engineering was last used at full capacity a decade ago, when a major power station suffered an emergency short-term shutdown. You cannot have such schemes as back-up for wind power, as calm periods could last for days.


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  • #
    MadJak

    Yep, this ones right up there.

    To add to the stupidity of this white elephant, I had a catastrafarian argument last year that they should just crank up the desal plant and pump the water in the murray!

    Honestly, there should be some sort of test for basic reasoning and common sense – which obviously our last ALP government failed to have.

    I have watched as the exorbitant (and I really mean over the top exorbitant) job ads have come through for tradies on this gig – talk about a massive union rort – sparkies on 200k+ and then there’s the living away from home allowance – if they live more than I think 50ks(?) away from wonthaggi on top of that.

    We should have built dams – the Thomson was built in part to see us through the drought – and guess what? IT DID!

    Honestly this white elephant makes Myki look like a screaming light of efficiency – well actually that was another ALP screw up too wasn’t it!


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  • #

    Remember Topher, with his excellent “Forbidden History” video? Well, his earlier videos were on the problems of water shortage in Melbourne, and the Labour Government’s attempts to solve this problem. In his “Unpopular View #3” made in 2010, he looks at a magic solution. Rather than build a 150GL desalination plant, the Victorian Government could have spent $2.6bn on a pipeline from Tasmania producing 350GL of water. Topher further argues it would have helped Tasmanians. Why? the water is currently used for Hydro. Sold as water to the Victorians, the Tasmanians would make loads more money than they get from the electricity.
    Yet, in a huge report published, the authorities ignored this win-win solution, despite having four submissions that mentioned it.
    Spend 15 minutes, and check it out for yourself.


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    • #

      Now for a bit of beancounting.
      Comparing Topher’s costs of the Tasmanian pipe-line (TPL) with your Shiny Desalination Plant (SDP).
      Capital Cost – TPL $2.6bn, SDP $3.5bn (+$1.0bn?)
      Annual costs – TPL $0.11bn (+up to $0.04bn running/maint costs?), SDP ($1.0bn)
      Increase in Victorian Water Bills – TPL <5% (my estimate), SDP 34% (Herald Sun).

      But your National Labor Government does not really care about costs. They care reducing CO2 emissions to protect the environment.
      How much power will be needed to obtain 150GL of water from your new plant?
      The Tasmanian Pipeline would have nil power to deliver 350GL of water down a 2.5m pipe, as it would be gravity fed. So the Victorian Labor Government has managed to undermine national initiatives. In so doing, the Victorian government has lumbered Victorian residents with ever-increasing water bills as the carbon tax rises.

      Even though there is already at least $3.5bn already spent, there is a serious economic case for mothballing the desalination plant – and still building the Tasmanian Pipe-Line. In finance you let bygones-be-bygones. In politics, it is an entirely different matter.


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      • #

        The more one looks at the costs of government capital projects, the worse it often gets. So I must apologize to people here. I left out a major cost. The desalination plant will use massive amounts of power – about 100MW – to operate. According to Wikipedia

        A commitment was made to invest in renewable energy to offset the power the plant uses in an attempt to make it carbon neutral.

        As wind power is the favored solution in Victoria, there are 4 options, in ascending order of honesty.
        1. Duck the issue. Forget commitments and National Labor Policy. The carbon tax will be a minor addition to water bills compared with the Desal plant so nobody will notice. :)
        2. Add wind farms of 100MW theoretical capacity. Cost about $240m.
        3. Add wind farms of 500MW theoretical capacity (actual output being around 20% of theoretical). Cost about $1200m.
        4. Add wind farms of 2500MW theoretical capacity (abatement output being around 4% of theoretical – see Jo Nova 01/09/12). Cost about $6000m.

        I present more detailed workings here. Please review the figures.


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        • #
          ExWarmist

          The Australian acquisition of the JSF is budgeted to $16B and currently running at $200M a piece under LRIP-5 where the actual aircraft are still incapable of being used.

          The initial production run for LRIP-5 was supposed to be 120 aircraft – this will now be 34.

          A death spiral project that presents a great risk to Australia of spending money on something that doesn’t work.

          Collins replacement Submarines – $36B if we attempt to build them in Adelaide. $9B for Off the Shelf Subs.


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          Tel

          One small advantage of a desal plant is that a bunch of renewables (especially wind) deliver power at random times, and the desal plant can selectively buy the low-price power from the grid by only running when cheap power is available. That’s presuming the contract with the operators was structured in such a way as to allow such a thing. They are trying to get other storage ideas happening like overnight recharge of electric cars using power that no one wants at the time.

          Small offset to the price of building the plant, but better than nothing.


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          • #
            Water Wizard

            The latest on the Tasmanian crossing is that it would now only cost $1B. It would use a 6m diameter fabric (high tensile nylon) pipe that floats off a wire anchored to the bottom of Bass Strait. It can be laid at a rate of 50km/day from a Japanese whaler. So 500GL/year from a head of under 10m. The target is the Wonthaggi Desalination Plant inlet tunnel (488GL capacity).


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    • #
      Tel

      The TPL was put forth as a real proposal to Victoria and they knocked it back. The name “Geoff Croker” pops up, is that the same guy?

      http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/bid-to-pipe-in-tasmanian-water/story-e6frea83-1111116947256


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      JayTYee

      Topher should be compulsory viewing. You’ll find me in the credits of one of his Forbidden movies. The TPL is visionary genius, yet I would never have heard of it if it wasn’t for Mr Field. Our wonderful Government certainly didn’t tell us about it. We had to make do with Bracks flitting around in a taxpayer funded helicopter telling us that we can’t build dams because they “take water away from rivers”, FFS!

      I wonder what life’s like in New Zealand; I think I need to move away from here before they close us down completely.


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  • #
    stephen

    brumbry and co should be in jail!


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    • #
      shirl

      Before or after Juliar and Bwuce


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    • #
      JayTYee

      In one of Terry Pratchett’s brilliant books ( ironically, it’s set mostly in his idea of Australia ), a character remarks that he popped up to the jail to ask something of the Prime Minister. When asked why the PM was in jail, he replied “oh, we always put our politicians in jail, it saves time later.


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  • #
    pat

    meanwhile, Germany gets to use more coal; we sell our coal to China, but can’t build coal-fired power plants ourselves! have left the mention of the “extra terrestrial life” item that followed the coal piece, as it was a truly ridiculous item:

    3 Dec: BBC World Service Business Daily: Germany’s dirty coal
    Germany may have said no to nuclear power, but does that mean yes to dirty coal? Steve Evans reports from the Ruhr coalfields on the energy compromises Germany is having to make.
    Plus, science fiction author David Brin talks about the likelihood of extra terrestrial life…
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0112t36

    also heard roger harrabin on bbc last nite as well, re Doha, bemoaning how there is now only the European Union & AUSTRALIA, representing 12 to 13% of CO2 emissions, committed to reducing emissions, which Reuters refers to below, using “below 15%”:

    3 Dec: Reuters: Factbox – Unresolved disputes at U.N. climate talks in Doha
    But backers among rich nations – led by the European Union and Australia – represent less than 15 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.
    Russia, Japan and Canada are pulling out, saying it is meaningless to set new targets when major emerging nations, such as China and India, will have no binding targets. The United States never ratified Kyoto…
    http://in.reuters.com/article/2012/12/03/climate-talks-disputes-facts-idINDEE8B208120121203

    when will the Coalition start pointing out to the public how utterly futile, ridiculous, and EXPENSIVE our pretense at saving the planet really is?


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  • #
    pat

    meanwhile, the US is racing ahead with its fossil fuel shale gas, with CAGW darlings/hypocrites Royal Dutch Shell going on about it emitting less CO2, and how coal must go, blah blah. of course coal must go, and tensions must keep being ramped up on oil supply, to keep the oil price up, which makes Shell’s endeavours economical. everyone but AUSTRALIA is doing what is in their own NATIONAL INTEREST:

    3 Dec: BBC Hardtalk: Peter Voser – Chief Executive, Royal Dutch Shell
    The United States is about to become the world’s largest producer of oil and gas. Quite remarkable for a country that only a few years ago was the world’s largest importer of gas. It’s a turnaround made possible by shale and it comes at a time of rapidly increasing demand from China, India and the Middle East. Peter Voser is the boss of Royal Dutch Shell one of the biggest energy companies in the world. With economies so thirsty for power, producers are being driven to new frontiers -but at what cost?
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01p529g


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  • #
    AndyG55

    And imagine the water now stored if the dam on the Mitchell river had been built instead !!

    Build it, and it shall fill !!


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  • #
    PonderingLink

    Lets not forget S.A. whos desal plant will never be switch on, built for the very same reasons Flim Flammery said of Vic, in fact he preached this for the whole country, in fact I’m still waiting to see when my hard earned 90,000,000 tax dollars are going to produce a single watt of geothermal electricity, spare me this green madness.


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    mick

    Big Green makes big oil look like Mother Theresa.

    Welcome to the new world of green economic slavery, $310 extra in water bills each and every year for the foreseeable future. Just how are the less off and even the over stretched carbon tax paying middle classes going to come up with this kind of ransom going forward?

    Oh and the irony, it is pissing down in Victoria at the moment, suspect the Desal plant biggest problem going forward will be keeping the rainwater out.


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    AndyG55

    “Which is why we need climate models that predict them.”

    Not really possible. You cannot predict rainfall more than a few days out, all you can do is work with statistical probabilities based on past rainfall A little tome called “Australian Rainfall and Run-off” is available for those who want to know more about it and how the engineers do it.

    What you do need is sensible water storage and operating rules.

    You can only work on storage probabilities, basing your incoming flows on past data. You minimise the statistical probability of running out of water, and if that probability is not low enough, you augment the system in the most economical way, which is always dams or local area water re-use schemes… (never desal, unless you are desperate !!)

    The MAIN reason they felt a need for the desal plant is because they knew they had stuffed up the planning of the system, due to not building more storage.

    Those fighting against expanded storages need to GET OUT THE WAY and let the water authorities do what needs doing ! DAMS !!!!


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    • #
      AndyG55

      A bit like in England. Water shortages.. because they haven’t built new dams in something like 50 years !!! DOH !!!

      Again, infrastructure not keeping up with the needs of society.. and why ?

      The green agenda !!!!


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      • #
        Bite Back

        Andy,

        The green agenda

        doesn’t go back more than about 25 years in any form to be taken seriously. The real agenda has been willful negligence of the maintenance of all sorts of infrastructure, from water supply to highways. It’s too tempting to spend the money on things that keep the politician in power or the utility companies’ bottom lines looking better.


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        • #
          ian hilliar

          BB- the green agenda actually goes back a lot further than you think-please look at the history of the National Socialist Party and dear old Adolf’s influences in Mein Kampf. The green agenda has been popular [as has homeopathy, interestingly eneough] in Germany ever since.


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    • #

      Hi Andy

      Actually it is possible to predict the LIKELIHOOD of rain several months ahead: the BOM does it now with their seasonal outlooks and usually aren’t too far wrong. Narrowing it down to approximate dates is the next challenge which is definitely achievable: think how far meteorology has come in the past 30 years.


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      • #
        AndyG55

        I did mean over a longer period, ie drought length time periods.

        No doubt we will have another drought somewhere in Australia in the near future (that’s normal for Australia).

        Predicting when it will hit and where will be hit hardest is another matter completely.

        We MUST increase our storage capacities to cope with ever increasing urban populations.


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        • #

          Re: Predicting Droughts? Until we understand what drives the PDO and ENSO shifts we won’t have a chance of providing the kind of seasonal information that farmers need. Hypothetically, a climate model which could tell farmers when to seed or stock up would save them billions, reduce the pain and heartache for farmers and suffering of stock and make the nation more productive.


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          • #
            AndyG55

            That little pdf I sent you does give a vague indication of some sort of cyclical drought recurrence. Much chaos built in though.

            Can you put it on the forum somehow? I have nowhere to put it at the moment.

            Its fun to track the drought history against the maps. :-)


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      • #

        Have a closer look and check out Warwick Hughes. The BoM seasonal rainfall forecasts are next to useless. GIGO. Meteorology hasn’t come as far as you think. Lots of computers and fancy models which most of the time don’t work yet people have unwarranted faith in them. The nice satellites and radar help a lot for short term forecasts but seasonal forecasts are in line with astrology and tea leaf reading unless you mean “it will be summer between 1st Dec and 31st march”.


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        • #

          I’m not usually one to defend the BOM (especially not their temperature record or climate predictions) but in this one case I will. Their August -October and September-November outlooks at least for Queensland were pretty much spot on. This is not always the case I agree, and they have a lot to learn still, but their forecasts are a big improvement on what they were 30 years ago. The trouble is people expect a bit too much from a young science (especially short term warnings) but we can look forward to more improvements over the next few years.
          But we will always have droughts and floods, so I agree, build more dams.


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          • #
            Ian Mott

            Yes, Ken. Build more dams but make sure they are off-stream “turkey nest” storages a la Cubbie Station. In stream dams can offer the largest storage volumes but most of these are actually in the wrong place. And they also become a major vector for every kind of zonked out doofus on the planet. The cost differential between off-stream storage and in-stream storage can often be negated by a superior position closer to, or well above, the delivery point.


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  • #
    Robber

    Another nominee for MUFFOG – the National Broadband Network. Some $40 billion or so to be invested plus operating costs of around $3 billion per year to deliver fibre to 12.2 million premises by 2021. At June 30, 2012, only 3,867 services connected, 38,914 premises passed, compared to objective set in Dec 2010 to have passed 317,000 homes. $2.8 billion already spent, with average salary for NBN employees $172,000.
    And all of these costs are not reflected in the Federal Budget deficits because it is “off budget” as a government monopoly that will be able to charge whatever it takes to breakeven.
    And all provided so that we can download Jo’s gems faster.


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      elva

      Sorry, have to disagree. NB has a plethora of possibilities in the future not yet thought about. Already it is helpful in the medical area, e.g. a young boy in Townsville had to driven to Brisbane every 2 years by his mother-4000km return-to have his cochlear ear implant adjusted. Now he has it done in Townsville using fast Internet.

      When copper wire was strung in the 1850s for Morse Code no one dreamt such would be used for telephones, teletext, fax and even our present PCs if you are close enough to an exchange. But the latter point shows copper is no longer any good. Fibre can handle much more plus, to repeat, items we may have no idea about.

      We can’t deprive our future generation to a horse and buggy Internet while USA and even smaller countries steam ahead with superior technology. Wireless, BTW, has limitations that fibre doesn’t have.


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        Robber

        No argument that for hospitals and other businesses there are likely to be significant benefits – and many of them already have high speed broadband. But fibre to every home? Please show the cost/benefit analysis.


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        Another Ian

        Elva

        Um! We found (during an accident to one of our clan) that a lot of this remote consultancy is already available in an area that has’t been NBN’d.

        And then we found that the nearest available specialist required air lifting of the patient.

        And, 2 days later, when he was due for discharge from that hospital we had to spend most of the day driving to collect him and return to base.

        There are efficiencies and efficiencies IMO.


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          Tel

          If you are a doctor looking at someone through a web-cam, and asking them a few questions, unless you are really sure there’s no serious problem, you are going to play it safe and ask them to go to hospital. Thus, the only medical cases that are going to save money are the small number where the patient just wants to check a few things but doesn’t really have anything wrong with them — and those could be handled on a normal telephone.

          What would makes sense is upgrading outback GP clinics with fiber links and in addition providing better diagnostic equipment (e.g. properly high resolution cameras, fast blood tests, maybe even scanners) but you don’t need fiber to every home, you only need fiber to the clinic and anyhow a lot more money would be spent on other clinic costs, not the comms.


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        ian hilliar

        the NBN is not really useful from a medical viewpoint,although the government has advertised it to be so. One of my kids has cochlear implants, and I am a GP on the south NSW coast. A mobile phone and the ability to email photos, together with the ability to talk to specialist back up is much more useful, and commonly available. For an E Medicine consult, the GP and the Specialist must both be running on time, Not going to happen.This has not stopped our wonderful government from offering every GP in Australia a $5000 fee {Bribe} for their first E-Medicine conference, as a sign on incentive,they can tell our populance, via a compliant press, that all these doctors have embraced their wonderful E Medicine initiative, yet another MUFFOG


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          elva

          People keep missing the point.
          In one example of using fast Internet (via satellite I presume) was a patient who had suffered a mild stroke in a remote community. The GP was able to have a city specialist within the hour viewing and talking to the patient in real time. He could ask her to do certain things, look into her eyes as well as get the GP to show her scans. Phones and images would not be enough.

          But my main point is that when you read the science journals one is made aware that already many new ways of using fibre optic cable networks are being developed. If, in say just 20 years from now, a huge benefit from using an NBN arises and we don’t have a house to house one we may be worse off than a 3rd world nation.

          Even ordinary TV in Australia was 10 years behind USA. During the 1960s we were watching late 1940s (I Love Lucy) and 1950s shows. Yet we thought we were “modern!”


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    Ian Hill

    South Australians will remember these projects which didn’t get off the ground:

    1960s – MATS Plan: Metropolitan Adelaide Transportation Scheme

    When I was at high school the librarian, who later became Minister for Education in a liberal State government, told us all about this scheme to turn Adelaide into another Los Angeles. His point was that it was only a short term solution costing about 1/2 billion dollars and in 20 years time further such expentiture would be needed. That apart from the social costs, ghettos etc.

    That was over 40 years ago. Traffic in Adelaide has never been much of a problem.

    1970s – Monarto: Construction of a large satellite city in the hills east of Adelaide

    One of Don Dunstan’s babies. This was meant to ease pressure on Adelaide’s growth rate happening to the north and south and provide economic opportunities.

    It didn’t happen, the site instead becoming a zoo featuring many African animals.

    1980s – MFP: Multi Function Polis:

    Adelaide won the Japanese contract to build a multi billion dollar “technology establishment” within its metropolitan area. The proposed site was adjacent the city’s largest rubbish dump.

    As one politician put it “we won an empty box”. Again it didn’t happen.

    These are our near misses. What we have got are hundreds of useless windmills and thousands of solar panels (and a flourishing small business industry installing them at a rapid rate of knots) and the horrid Adelaide Oval redevelopment.


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      Having lived and done business in Adelaide for 15 years the comment that “Traffic in Adelaide has never been much of a problem” is crap. Adelaide cries out for a North – South freeway just as was done in Perth. Simply brilliant. It was that dickhead Dunstan who, after resuming the land for the freeway decided the motor car would soon be a thing of the past and cancelled the project. BTW I’ve also spent a little time in LA and the freeway system is great.


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      Crakar24

      Ian,

      There is an old joke about SA,

      How many South Australians does it take to change a light bulb?

      None

      South Australians dont like change.

      Never a truer word spoken


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    Robert

    Jo, I want you to picture an eight storey building by the beach, then imagine waves lapping its roof…..

    Wouldn’t have something to do with our Professor Flannery would it? He seems to occasionally get his predictions a little tangled

    Sarc++


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      elva

      Been reading a book,
      “Global Warming: Alarmists, Skeptics & Deniers” by
      G Dedrick Robinson, a geo climatologist.
      He says that if ALL the ice in Antarctica, etc, were to melt the sea level would rise about 200 feet, about 60m.

      But that would take an enormous time considering how thick the ice is. Plus the Antarctic temp’s are falling rather than rising. So, no need to worry yet.

      By the way,Mars has ice at its poles and underground. If released as liquid it would cover the planet in 30 feet, (about 10m) of water.


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    AndyG55

    “These are our near misses. What we have got are hundreds of useless windmills and thousands of solar panels (and a flourishing small business industry installing them at a rapid rate of knots) and the horrid Adelaide Oval redevelopment.”

    Gees, at least you get something !!! ;-)


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    manalive

    It’s a paradigm for the entire Climate Change™ farce.


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    shirl

    One thing nobody has mentioned and No1 candidate imo “the Labor Party making Juliar PM” just look at the godawful expensive nightmare since it happened.MUFFOG++++++++


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    Glenn

    I have very much enjoyed the heavy irony of the desal plant completion being delayed … by heavy rain.


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      JayTYee

      And meanwhile, on the other side of Wilson’s Prom, the Mitchell deposits 1,100,000 ML of fresh water into the sea ( or all over Gippsland ) each year.


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    handjive

    Indeed, many contenders for the 2012 MUFFOG. All environmental based.

    ~ *Nomination:

    In Copenhagen in 2009 developed countries pledged to spend $100 billion-a-year by 2020 to help poorer countries deal with dangerous climate change.

    To get things started they promised $30 billion through to 2012.

    How is it going, I hear you ask?

    $

    A three-year program that was initiated in Copenhagen in 2009 saw global pledges of $AU 30 billion, much of which has never been delivered.

    ~ *Australia’s effort:

    Australia committed $599 million of what was called ‘fast start finance’ back in 2010 and we have actually delivered all of the $599 million,” said Australia’s Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, Mark Dreyfus.
    (this link quotes $620 million!)

    $

    To summarise so far:

    Despite other countries reneging, Australia still ‘gave away’ over $600 Million (Australia doesn’t have) over 3 years to ‘tackle climate change’. (Like a school kid offering his lunch money to the bullies, thinking it will garner favour)

    $

    What value (key performance indicator:KPI) did Australia receive for it’s 3 year ‘investment’?

    Superstorm Sandy a sign of things to come

    It would appear throwing money at the problem is not working.


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    Apox

    Re acronym; would you allow Farcical Use of Citizens’ Kudos


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    Peter Miller

    Desalination to produce expensive water, when ‘regular, normal’ water is abundantly available, except during the very occasional period of extreme drought.

    Obviously, the idea of building new dams did not occur to the bureaucrats who dreamed up this project.

    Anyhow, this is exactly the same as how ‘climate science’ works:

    1. Identify a minor problem and blow it up out of all proportion, then

    2. Enact a ‘solution’, which is expensive, energy inefficient, not needed and unpopular once the general public realise the cost to them of what the greenies/bureaucrats have inflicted upon them.


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      Streetcred

      Some turtle or obnoxious rodent somewhere is always found to stymie development of dams. Worked on a project in FNQ once where the EPA decided that we had to undertake a research trapping project for a particular species of water rat … the habitat of which was not known beyond northern NSW. This was a consequence of tardiness in the records of Environment Australia which was well know to them but they would not give up the need for us to waste time and money on a problem that did not exist … just trying to stop the development and create some justification for their existence.


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        JayTYee

        Some turtle or obnoxious rodent somewhere is always found to stymie development of dams

        And yet the various environmental lobbies are completely unmoved by the impact ( literally ) of wind turbines on birdlife.


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    old44

    Because it will last for 50 – 100 years, even though it may not be useful it is ” an enormous investment in quality assurance.”

    I had dog turds lay in my backyard for 6 months over winter when I wasn’t mowing the lawn, so what.


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    spangled drongo

    Since the Beatty/Bligh Qld labor govt built the Tugun White Elephant [AKA desal plant] and water grid and “drought-proofed” SEQ, our water rates have gone up 100%.

    We can hear it rusting from our place and it is costing close to $1mil per day in interest and maintenance just sitting there doing nothing.

    But this is peanuts, wait till we get the bill for the NBN.


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    Bob in Castlemaine

    Obelisks for future generations to gaze on and wonder how it was that witchcraft enjoyed such renascence in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.


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    Desalination plants are also referred to as liquid electricity, and while sounding a little obscure, it is in fact the truth.

    To run the plant at capacity will require 120MW of power. That’s not occasional power but around the clock, 24/7/365 power.

    That 120MW is almost 8% of the output of Hazelwood Power Plant which generates 25% of Victoria’s total power Consumption, so immediately, Wonthaggi’s desal plant will be consuming 2% of all Victoria’s power consumption.

    That may not sound much, but let me use that power total in the same incorrect manner that every proposal for a new renewable power plant uses their total power generation as a reference.

    That same power consumed by the desal plant is the equivalent power consumed by 91,000 homes.

    Keep in mind that the power is needed 24/7/365, so there’s no point constructing a wind plant with all its output dedicated for use by the desal plant alone. Things don’t work that way, because as each new power plant goes in, it is connected to the grid overall.

    So, realistically, that being the case, we could in fact effectively construct a wind plant that would contribute the same amount of power to the grid on a year round basis that the desal plant consumes on a year round basis, because the wind plant will contribute power TO the grid, and the desal plant will consume power FROM the grid.

    So, then let’s construct a wind plant that will contribute this same amount of power that will be consumed by the desal plant. Now keep in mind here that the average Capacity Factor for wind power is 30%.

    So 120MW fixed total and a 30% CF means we will need 400MW of wind power. The current average is around a 2.5MW generator in the nacelle atop each tower, so now we will need a wind plant with 160 towers.

    A plant of this size will cost in the vicinity of $1.3 Billion, and here, refer to the recent announcement of the proposal for the new King Island Wind Plant, which is proposed to cost $2 Billion for 600MW.

    So, now on top of what the desal plant costs we find that there could be an added extra cost of that $1.3 Billion.

    That’s if we want this desal plant to run green.

    Even then, because wind power is so variable, and that desal plant requires FIRM 24/7/365 power, then we will need the insurance of an absolute 24/7/365 power, so it would seem that, umm, Hazelwood may indeed still have a long future.

    So now it seems, not only will Victorians be paying a pretty substantial extra for the cost of their water, they will also be paying an added extra for their electricity, due to the increased cost of that electricity to cover for the added new wind plant to provide equivalent power for the desal plant, a cost added to their power bills

    Sounds like a lose lose to me.

    Tony.


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      Hi Tony.
      Your 30% CF is a little high. In Britain (which being an island is quite windy), 20% is more typical. Also, to be really carbon neutral, you need to allow for the backup coal-fired power stations. Jo Nova estimated that the true level is 4%.
      http://joannenova.com.au/2012/09/wind-farms-are-96-useless-and-cost-150-times-more-than-necessary-for-what-they-do/
      On this 4% basis, and $3.3m MW and 100MW average 24/365 to produce 150GL capacity(120MW is flat out and does not allow for maintenance.) the carbon neutral capital cost comes at $8.25bn. But then, that would require an admission that wind farms are totally useless.


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        Thanks Manicbeancounter,

        wherever possible I always prefer to quote figures that are claimed, and those are usually best case scenarios, because even just the fact that I do quote best case figures, it still makes it sound ridiculous when the sums are done.

        In every case, I have found over the last five years of doing this that EVERY new Wind Plant quotes in their proposal that they can run at 38%, which is still a theoretical figure, but oddly, it’s the figure that is ALWAYS used. Now, try and find that figure of 38% at ANY wind power site. You will NEVER see it. That’s because they hide it in plain sight, by saying that this new wind plant will provide power for X number of homes, and no one, well, no Friends Of The Dirt Greenies anyway, can understand how to do the Math from that. What it means is that they know the average power consumption of the typical home, and they equate that number of homes to the projected power output of the plant for a full year. Knowing the Nameplate Capacity is always quoted you can multiply the X homes powered by their average consumption to give a total power supplied for a year and using the reverse Maths, you can then work out the CF, and it has always come to that (obscure) figure of 38%.

        However, the actual operation is usually around 25% (and sometimes as low as 20%) to 35% for some of the absolute best plants, so I average that out and quote a best case of 30%.

        Whenever someone mentions that the wind plant is barely running at that 30% figure or even lower, and why wasn’t that mentioned up front, the proposers always point to that obscure X number of homes and reply that hey, we told you exactly that right from Day One. Trouble is no one knows what it means.

        Deception on a scale that would not be countenanced in anything other than this Green farce.

        Tony.


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          cohenite

          Hi Tony; I keep banging on about installed capacity [ic], capacity factor[cf[ and the new boy, what Tom Quirk calls, reliability point [rp].

          Tom’s paper is here. Looking at Table 1 we can see the usual suspects; if we use Cullerin range we can see that the ic is 30MW and their cf is 34% or 10.2 MW.

          That 10MW is the actual power produced as an average over a period, usally at least a 1/4.

          What the rp shows is the probability at any one moment of that cf occuring; for Cullerin it is 3%; so what I take from that is that at any moment the odds of the Cullerin installation producing power is 34/100 X 3/100 = 0.0102 or negligible.

          Would you agree with that?


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            cohenite,

            I haven’t looked at that before, and until I can work it out for myself, and get comfortable with it, I won’t refer to it. I have enough troubles trying to explain Capacity Factor so some people can understand it.

            I always like to refer to the Wind Plant Performance at the link below. They refer to it as Wind Farm performance and how I detest the use of the word Farm in this application, equating wind power to something that is actually productive ….. farming.

            This link below is for the total wind power output for yesterday, which was evidently a stinking hot day, or so they tell us, and has anyone noticed especially here in Queensland, that suddenly, normal Summer temperatures are referred to with emphasis as hot hot hot, extreme, and any other adjective to accentuate the meme. This is normal for Queensland.

            The second graph at the link shows the total output of all the most recently constructed 25 Wind Plants.

            Note how for the total time up until 10AM, ten hours the total output from Nameplate 2072MW barely averaged 350MW, a spot (for 10 hours) CF of 16%, and it struggled up to around a 14 hour average from 10AM of around 900MW. The daily CF would have been around that 30%, but again, see how that average is extrapolated out over a full day, and yet at the low point it was only 13%, so quoting that 30% is still erroneous, so that’s what cohenite is mentioning here, the probability factor, or reliability point.

            I’ll (naturally) agree with Tom Quirk’s reliability point, but explaining that to lay people adds another technicality to something that is already esoteric by its nature.

            Link To Wind Farm Performance Monday 03Dec2012

            While you are at that site, scroll down to the third graph, total power consumption for that same 5 State area, and see the total for the day, was almost 27,000MW, and was at that level for around 12 hours, so for those 10 hours in the AM when Wind was averaging as low it was, it was supplying only 1.6% of the total power being consumed during that same period, and for the whole day barely averaged 2.7%.

            Also, from that same third graph, note the low point, just on 18,000MW. Every news outlet in the Country should show this graph on their front page, with a thick black line drawn across the page at that 18,000MW mark. That’s power actually being consumed.

            The greenies think that just does not exist, or probably even worse, that it’s not relevant. They just cannot see what that means. That is something they need to address, but all I ever get when I try is ad hom and abuse, especially at The Conversation.

            Tony.


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            cohenite

            Geez, Tony, you get abused at The Conversation. I can’t even get published. You must have some clout.


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            cohenite,

            I don’t go there often, but every time I do, I get a serve, usually from the usual suspects.

            They have no concept of what it means when I actually SHOW them what Base Load is, and then explain it. They still refer to it as an adjective to describe large scale coal fired power.

            Tony.


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            ExWarmist

            cf : Is that actual power produced at the windmill – or available power at the wall socket after transmission losses?


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            cohenite

            Exwarmist:

            cf : Is that actual power produced at the windmill – or available power at the wall socket after transmission losses?

            Crucial question; the greenies would have you believe the cf is the actual electricity produced by the stupid things; as I showed with the reference to the Tom Quirk paper, which should be compulsory reading, the reliability point of renewables, wind and solar, is so low due to their intermittancy the cf is just the power produced; by virtue of the intermittancy as shown by the reliability point that power is effectively unusable, at least for baseload.


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            ExWarmist

            TonyFromOz says…

            They have no concept of what it means when I actually SHOW them what Base Load is, and then explain it. They still refer to it as an adjective to describe large scale coal fired power.

            It’s a pretty sad indictment if – even after explanation – they still refer to “baseload” as a synonym for Coal Fired power without understanding that baseload is a category concept and that Coal fired power is an instance concept (of the baseload category).

            And that Solar, Wind and other renewables are “*not*” instances of the Baseload category, and that in a functioning modern society that the Baseload category must be filled with a specific cost effective, robust and capable ‘instance’.

            Or else the functioning will disappear.


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            Capacity Factor (CF) is calculated over time with the Industry Standard calculation. It is the relationship between power generated for consumption ( expressed in WattHours, eg KWH, MWH, GWH, or TWH, all multiples of 1,000) with respect to the Nameplate Capacity of the plant.

            At the proposal stage this CF is expressed as the best case theoretical value, and surprisingly, but for no real reason I can locate, that is usually 38%.

            Then they turn the Plant on and it starts delivering power. The actual CF can then be calculated, usually after a year’s delivery of power.

            The total power if the plant was to run at 100% can be calculated with that Industry Standard calculation:

            NP X 24 X 365.25 where NP is Nameplate Capacity, 24 hours in a day and 365.25 days in a year, the .25 added for the leap year component.

            So, doing the calculation for the 400MW wind Plant I quoted above as needed for the Wonthaggi Desal Plant, that would look like this:

            400MW X 24 X 365.25 giving us 3506400MWH or 3506.4GWH

            I based my calculations using a CF (probably a figure on the high side) of 30% CF.

            What that means is that the (my theoretical) desal wind farm will actually generate 30% of the absolute maximum, hence 30% of that 3506GWH or 1052GWH.

            Working backwards with that same calculation, this gives us a Total of 125MW which is the power consumed by the Wonthaggi plant at full operation.

            Modern new Tech USC coal fired power is consistently operating at a CF of 87.5%, and here you need to realise that the only down time is for maintenance, so for the period of time one generator is being serviced etc, then no power is being generated, hence deducting from the overall total Power delivered (MWH etc) and whenever it is running it is delivering all its total power all the time.

            The U.S. nuclear power industry is currently running at a CF of 92.5% on a year round basis, and for the Summer Months that is normally 95%. The reliability factor of those U.S. nukes is really amazing as that CF has risen virtually every year since they were constructed, and here you need to realise they haven’t built any new ones (well, maybe one, recently) since the late 70s or so. There’s 106 Reactors now, each driving one generator. When you compare Nameplate Capacity all those NUkes come in at around 6% of US total Nameplate. However, when you compare actual power delivered for consumption that figure is closer to 20%, so that’s why using Nameplate Capacity is such an erroneous thing to use.

            The only time a nuke is down is for refuelling, and carefully managed, that is around 15 to 18 months.

            One nuclear plant hold the record for one of its generators.

            Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Facility has two reactor/turbine/generator complexes with each (single) generator rated at 1120MW, yes ONE generator.

            Unit one underwent a refuel, and after that, was run up. It delivered its constant maximum total power for the full 18 Months until the next refuel. Non stop, flat out 18 Months. This time, that 18 Months encompassed one full reporting year, so the refuel was before the reporting year began, and the next refuel was after the reporting year finished.

            That one unit delivered a total power during that 12 Month reporting period which worked out to a Capacity Factor of 101.2%.

            Now, I know Nuclear power is a long way off here in Oz, but let’s do a ridiculous comparison.

            The 400MW wind plant which I mentioned could supply power to the grid in the same amount that the desal plant uses from the grid would consist of 160 huge towers.

            Now compare that with the one Diablo Canyon unit the delivered its power at that 101.2% CF.

            That one Unit delivered the same power to its grid that those 160 towers would deliver to the grid in a full year ….. and the one generator at the Nuke did that in 38 days.

            Tony.


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            Let’s even do what might be termed a stupid hypothetical then.

            Let’s assume this could even be done.

            Let’s then pretend the absolute worst case scenario that ONE nuke would cost (worst case) 12 times what the proposed 400MW wind plant would cost, that $1.3 Billion I quoted, so this ONE nuke would cost $16 Billion, and see now how stupid that is, because that is totally and utterly out of the question.

            That price factor would come down because the Nuke has a 50 year life span at minimum and can be further extended out to 60 years and maybe even longer with upgrades, but let’s just stay with the original 50 years. A wind plant has a best case life span of 20 to 25 years so let’s again go best case here and say 25 years. So now you need 2 of these wind plants, so that’s $2.6 Billion, and now we only have a cost factor increase of 6 times.

            OK, over the life of the Nuke when compared to the life of the 2 Wind Plants, the Nuke will have delivered 20 times the power of the 2 Wind Plants.

            A cost factor increase of 6 and a power delivery factor increase of 20.

            This is the best case figures for wind, and the worst figures case for nuclear.

            And there’s no debate here in Oz because they cost too much.

            Go figure!

            Tony.


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            Graeme No.3

            cohenite:

            I think that the reliability point (often confusingly called factor) is an engineer’s guess at the amount of wind power (as a % of installed capacity) that would be available when you wanted/needed some power. Or if you like, the amount you can count on at anytime.

            It is not an accurate figure in the same sense a capacity factor which is worked out over a period of time e.g one year. Note that capacity factors vary from season to season, and year to year. The UK figure started out at 38% but slipped to 30% (claimed), before the actual performance was settled at 26%. But that has varied from 21 to 24% in the last few years because the best sites are used first.

            Nor is it an absolute reliable figure, as shown in the UK in the last few winters when sub-zero still air has been prevalent; the actual amount delivered has been 0 and 0.1% of installed capacity. But it is useful for them to calculate how much backup to have running as spinning reserve to allow for short term fluctuations in wind power.

            The other drawback is that the figure can be “adjusted” for political purposes, as in Texas where a figure of around 3% was set to 8.4% so that wind looked better than it really was.


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            JayTYee

            And there’s no debate here in Oz because they cost too much.

            In fairness, that’s probably not the only reason. You only have to look at the shirtfight over our decision to sell yellowcake to India. And yet we have no problem selling the stuff to China. Go figure indeed.


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      John Knowles

      One wonders how a Govt failed to assess the enormous power cost of conventional de-sal. We must be giving them too much tax.

      There is one Australian de-sal system which I do quite like which was taken on by Aquadyne. The Jetwater System is able to use power station waste heat to “boil” decompressed sea-water at around 92ºC. If conventional de-sal costs around $3/kilolitre, Jetwater is about $1.50/KL. Spent turbine steam carries a lot of useful thermal energy and any coastal power station could have a small plant built at relatively low cost and moth-balled until a severe drought comes around.

      A basic intro is at http://www.wme.com.au/categories/water/dec8_03.php


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        AndyG55

        Actually, IFF you can produce water at a comparible price to major storage water, then it would be far better to use that water all the time.
        One of the best ways of ensuring drought water security is to minimise the drawdown from your main reservoirs, even when they are quite full.
        (Unless other aspects such as flood mitigation are to be considered. ie good for Warragamba, a storage reservoir, but needs more consideration for Wivenhoe, a dual function dam)

        (for the non-mathematically inclined, IFF means “if and only if”)


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        llew Jones

        The reason that otherwise fairly rational people, like those ALP members of the government responsible for authorising the building of Wonthaggi, is that they swallowed, hook line and sinker, the nonsense that masquerades as climate science.

        They are not the real culprits but rather those “scientists” who were too lazy or blinded by their own brilliance to examine the history of drought and rainfall in Victoria over a long period and plot that history against the relevant atmospheric CO2 concentrations or levels. One would need to be an incredibly stupid “scientist” not to see that rising CO2 levels have had no significant effect on drought and rainfall. Put another way what sort of incompetents populate CSIRO, BOM and the Victorian Climate Change Department?

        The scaremongering about melting antarctic ice and sea level rise leading to submerging coastlines is of the same genre and should be ignored by politicians on the ground of once bitten twice shy.


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          Greg Cavanagh

          I do hold anyone in a position of responsibility, accountable for the decisions they make (or allow on their behalf).

          The politician did not give the slightest consideration to alternative, listen to citizen’s comments, or talk to other experts.

          They jumped all over the most stupid ideas simply because in their tiny minds, they believe the people vote for “green”. People however, are far more savy than the politicians are, or think they are (or can even imagine).


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      willy

      You’re gold Anton. What’s the story behind the medals in your profile pic? Apologize if this has been answered before.


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        willy,

        Off Topic, but I was asked.

        They’re nothing really, just long service medals.

        The one on the right as you look at it is The National Medal. Originally, the Australian Military (all three branches) had their own Long Service Medals. When Gough got into power, he decreed that the military was just another branch of the Public Service, and he canned all Military Long Service Medals and introduced a Medal for all the Public Service, and he called it The National Medal, and Gough made the medal in Australia’s national colours, Blue and Gold, and didn’t that create a storm at the time. BLUE and Gold.

        The Military rightly so was up in arms that they had lost Military service specific long service medals, and after Gough, er, departed, a new military specific long service meadl was introduced, The Defence Force Service Medal (DFSM).

        Those people who were serving during Gough’s reign tenure, and then went on to make the 15 year qualification were presented the National Medal, and very few serving members do have that National Medal. We called it ‘Gough’s Gong’.

        The Medal on the left as you look at my profile image is that DFSM, presented after 15 years service, and then with a clasp for every further five years, so I have that DFSM and 2 clasps for my 25 years in the RAAF.

        Since that time, I have also been presented with a third Medal the Defence Forces Medal, so now I have the three of them, all for time served.

        In the U.S. military, all serving members are allowed to wear any and all medals ever presented to the unit they are attached to, so you can see some young guys with a couple of rows of medals at a very young age. That’s why when you see U.S. Generals, they can have anything up to ten or more rows of medals, at 3 medals per row. Those Generals may only have only four to six medals at most they have actually qualified for themselves, but wearing all those unit medals takes it up to those ten or more rows.

        Here in Oz, military members are only allowed to wear medals that have been presented or awarded to them in person, so that’s why we wear very few medals, and we have four of them to a row.

        Incidentally, as an aircraft electrical tradesman, I was sometimes referred to, in a friendly banter situation as a flying Squadron jinx. I’m one of a very very small number who has been a member of three flying Squadrons that were disbanded, two of them while I was still at that Squadron. The first was 2OCU, which flew Canberra’s, the second was 5OTU which flew Sabre’s, and the third was 76 Squadron, which flew the Mirage. 76 was disbanded by Gough in August 73. Our CO got in more sierrahotelindiatango than Flash Gordon when he strung up banners outside the Squadron and across the road that said boldly, ‘Sold Off Due To Labor Pains’. We even put banners on some of the Mirages, and the link shows a much younger me standing alongside one of those Mirages with a banner.

        76 Squadron Closure.

        Tony.


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          Roy Hogue

          In the U.S. military, all serving members are allowed to wear any and all medals ever presented to the unit they are attached to, so you can see some young guys with a couple of rows of medals at a very young age. That’s why when you see U.S. Generals, they can have anything up to ten or more rows of medals, at 3 medals per row. Those Generals may only have only four to six medals at most they have actually qualified for themselves, but wearing all those unit medals takes it up to those ten or more rows.

          Scrambled eggs on the hat and fruit-salad on the jacket — that way they never go hungry. ;-)


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      ianl8888

      @TonyOz

      “… so it would seem that, umm, Hazelwood may indeed still have a long future”

      Sorry that you won’t take onboard my earlier comments on Hazelwood’s future. My information is only a few weeks old and is from impeccable sources (Confidentiality Agreement prevents me from naming them)

      You and I may hope that your suggestion here is accurate, but the Rainbow Coalition in Canberra doesn’t care about collateral damage, only about “noble” CO2 reduction targets. One can easily see that in the rhetoric about “gold-plating” of grid components, when such upgrading is actually to ensure as close to 100% grid reliability is achieved as is humanly possible. The downside to NOT upgrading old equipment is a brownout/blackout regime, not mentioned by Gillard et al, too third world

      The desal plant, like that of NSW, will be run on grid power. If that fails, whether from reliance on windmills or closure of coal-fired plants, the subsequent risk to the water supplies will simply remain unreported to the general public


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        ianl8888,

        it’s not that I don’t believe you. I would actually like to believe it.

        I’m sanguine enough to believe that Governments at a State and especially the Federal Government would be desperate for any closure of Hazelwood to not happen, the Feds especially, as the most obvious (and in fact the ONLY) reason would be the CO2 Tax, and taking 25% of Victoria’s power away because of that would be an absolute disaster both for Victoria, Australia, and more important for them, an political disaster of monumental proportions.

        They might be able to cover it from other sources, maybe, and that’s a pretty huge maybe, but that also causes problems of its own.

        That loss of power would have to be made up from other sources. Those other plants that will be running to replace that lost power already have their CO2 Tax budgeted for the amounts they normally emit. Now, having to run longer to replace that lost power from Hazelwood would put them way over their budgeted CO2 emissions, and here I mean humungously over. They would need to make up the extra emissions, and added on top of that, pay 1.5 times a penalty per emitted tonne of CO2, and then have that excess deducted from their next year’s total, a quite literally enormous impost, which could not be covered up by keeping it quiet.

        I feel certain that any problems with Hazelwood are being discussed, something that will kept quiet, and deals will be done, and that also will be kept quiet, because a closure on the scale of Hazelwood (before the next election) would mean absolute electoral disaster for the ALP, both in Victoria, and then spread across wider Australia as well.

        No, there may be something in the wind (pardon the lame pun) about the closure of Hazelwood, but the wider community will NEVER get to hear about.

        Pity. [snip -- bit inflammatory. Essentially "Shame, it would kill Labors chances of getting elected" - Jo], and The Greens with it too.

        Tony.


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        • #
          ianl8888

          As I noted in a previous thread, this is where the vitriolic squabbling is now occurring

          I agree with you that some deal may be worked out, but that will leak to the meeja as well, so the Greens will be publically outraged while quietly allowing the deal to go ahead. Nothing like rank hypocrisy, is there ?

          Loy Yang (and to a lesser extent Yallourn) are able to cope with displaced demand at it’s current levels, but I agree with you that their CO2 levels will then exceed their current free quotas. The extra burden of CO2 tax will then threaten their bank loan covenants as the wholesale price of power (especially for domestic use) is pegged by State Govts quangos … State politicians will lose THEIR seats if price rises can be pinned down to them

          Ahh, Achilles Heel again. It easy to see that the resident green dipsticks here don’t come anywhere near these posts. Nor do the logic-challenged meeja publish these facts anywhere. They are SCARED of the situation their short-sighted stupidity helped create


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    elva

    It amazes me that the Greens are so against building dams.
    Dams ‘conserve’ water. I thought conservation and sustainability was their war cry.

    Also, dams can provide free, clean, hydro electricity. Dams cost less for this power yet the call is for scenery and environmental destroying, extra expensive wind power and solar farms.

    The war against dams and nuclear power shows the Green energy faction is not genuine in any way.


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      delory

      Exactly! And they completely ignore the fact that dams are creating a ‘new’ environment for native fish, water birds, aquatic plants, etc.etc.etc…


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        Gee Aye

        Hmmm an environmental relativist. I thought they died out in the 19th century. My environment is better than yours!

        Australia is a squalid place, devoid as it is of rabbits and the thrill of the hunt for fox.


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        debbie

        It was actually the storage dams and irrigation networks that kept the Murray, the Murrumbidgee, the Goulburn and other rivers running through the entire drought. They would have certainly dried up without them.
        I agree with you Elva….I don’t get why the Greens are unable to recognise that dams have far more benefits for our highly unpredictable ephemeral environment than any negative impacts.
        The only real footprint is a land footprint.
        Hydro power is far more reliable than the other so called ‘renewable energy sources’.
        Lately the Greens have been saying that Hydro power is not ‘clean energy’… but… by their own definition neither is wind or solar.
        New dams will produce methane for a short period of time.
        Consructing wind towers and solar panels also produces emissions….and so do the desal plants.
        But the pay off, the multiple benefits and the longevity certainly belong to well constructed dams that can also produce hydro power, provide wetland habitat for native flora and fauna, recreational services and the conservation and wise use of one of our most abundant (but highly irregular) resources.


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        • #
          Graeme No.3

          The other benefit is if you can use the dams for pumped storage, i.e. pumping water back up into the dam when power is cheap and/or plentiful e.g. at night, especially if the wind turbines start generating.

          It is the only way to “store” electricity on a large scale. Even some of the Greens have realised that it is the only way to accommodate large scale wind power (if you pay the cost).

          Pity Australia has so few suitable sites, and a surplus of Greens.


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            AndyG55

            Graeme,

            Dams used for drought security storage are not generally suitable for large scale hydro..

            Think about it, the aim of storage is to keep the water, no let it out. ;-)

            Tassie’s hydro dams are not used for water supply, Hobart gets its water most from the Derwent.

            Warragamba for instance, does have a small hydro station, but now that they are using water from the Windsor recycling plant to provide water for the Hawksbury, they are now limiting “environmental” flows which used to power those hydro generators, so very little power is now being generated.


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            AndyG55

            But as you say, Australia has very few places where the rainfall and terrain coincide to make hydro power a sensible large scale alternative.

            Ord river, west coast of Tassie, Snowy mountains. Maybe something could be considered for upper NSW coast, lots of rain, but no large storages, not sure there would be anywhere to build one, haven’t studied that possibility.


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          ExWarmist

          If you reframe the Greens decisions as aimed to foster the acquisition, maintenance and execution of legal coercive power over the rest of us, they make sense.

          Attempting to make sense of green decisions based on any sort of cost/benefit analysis where the benefits are to accrue to the majority of people or even to the environment will simply leave you confused and nonplussed.


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          JayTYee

          Dams used for drought security storage are not generally suitable for large scale hydro..

          Think about it, the aim of storage is to keep the water, no let it out.

          And yet there is no reason they can’t be used for small scale, such as at Wivenhoe. Having lived for a number of years at the very foot of the wall at Somerset, upstream of Wivenhoe, I have a first hand experience of the awesome power of such a construct, especially after 11 inches falls in 8 hours up in the catchment around Malaney, Kenilworth and Jimna. That would most likely generate a good deal more than the 60 or so turbines I pass regularly between Melbourne and Adelaide, and would probably do so more often,


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      Mattb

      Are the greens all that in favour of desal plants?


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        Crakar24

        No they are not Mattb well at least the Victorian branch

        http://vic.greens.org.au/sites/vic.greens.org.au/files/policydownloads/Water%20Policy-w.pdf

        There not in favor of a desal plant, they are not in favor of building dams they are in favor of new legislation designed to force people to live a way of the greens choosing. Have a read its all there.

        A good question well done Matt


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        • #
          Mattb

          Yes but Crackar elva’s post was about bagging the Greens, in a thread about the waste of money desal plant.

          I am staggered to read that people think that installing a dam could actually improve the local environment… that is staggering. That is not to say no dams should be built but it is pretty difficult to argue that a dam has benefits in terms of habitat creation.


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          • #

            I am staggered to read that people think that installing a dam could actually improve the local environment… that is staggering.

            Umm, Lake Mead!

            And, as is now being proved, Three Gorges.

            There’s just two.

            Different eyes see different things.

            Tony.


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            Crakar24

            I read somewhere that the 3 gorges dam has all but killed off the fishing industry down stream as the dams do not allow for sedimentry flow etc. Maybe there is now info about this that i am not aware of.


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            Mattb

            How does simply stating “lake mead” prove a point Tony? I mean I’m sure there were some interesting critters that used to inhabit the ground level of the former canyon too? Again I’m not saying that Hoover dam should not have been built for environmental reasons, and that you could argue in cases (as in any infrastructure project)that construction of particular dams have minimum impact on the environment relative to the overall benefits, but it is hard hard hard indeed to say that a positive of a dam would be improved local habitat.


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            Dave

            .
            The Three Gorges Dam supplies electricity and water for over 2% of China.

            As a renewable energy supply, isn’t the reduction of CO2 considered as “an improvement to local & world habitat?”

            No different to windmills all over the country side?


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          • #

            Crakar24,

            how far downstream do you mean. Barely 60 miles or so downstream from Three Gorges is Gezhouba Dam, also with a large Hydro Plant (2710MW) of its own, and that has been there since 1970, since hugely upgraded.

            During the great 1954 flood, the area downstream from the existing Three Gorges was flooded, an area covering 75,000 square miles. 30,000 lives, estimated, were lost. One city, Wuhan, with a population of 8 million people was completely covered, and remained covered for more than 3 Months. 19 million people had to be relocated.

            That sedimentary flow is a problem for the Francis turbines that drive the generators at Three Gorges, but that has settled down somewhat now, and the Chinese have found ways to minimise that damage as well.

            During construction of Three Gorges 1.5 million people had to be relocated, and while that sounds a lot, it was barely 1.5% of the population of that Province (the same as our States) Those people relocated were once subsistence peasants, and now all of them live in the huge area surrounding the new Dam, and now all of them have access to electrical power, something none of them once had prior to construction.

            River trade has boomed now the river has stabilised and large trade ships regularly move up and down the river through the locks at the side of each of the new dams on the River, taking everything up and down the River, something that was not possible before.

            Three Gorges Hydro generates 22,500MW, the equivalent of 11 large scale coal fired power plants.

            Tony.


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          • #

            Current China Hydro Power comes in at 190,000MW Nameplate Capacity, the equivalent of 95 Large scale coal fired power plants.

            Tony.


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            Crakar24

            Hi Tony,

            Yes i agree the benefits of hydro to communities especially this one is far reaching i wanted to just make the point that not everything is a positive there are some negatives but as Dr Spock once said “The needs of the many out weigh the needs of the few”.

            The positives in this case far out weigh the negatives, buit this may not be the case for all dams each new construction needs to be assessed.

            Cheers


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            Mattb

            Crackar you bloody hippy;)


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            ExWarmist

            A well constructed and useful dam is a thing of beauty.

            There should be more of them.


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            Debbie

            I’m staggered by Matt B’s puritan ‘green’ stance.
            Humans are part of the natural environment too Mattt.
            Human’s ‘naturally’ enhance their environment.
            Water storage via well designed dam construction have benefits, including environmental benefits, that far outweigh any short term disadvantages.
            Open your eyes Matt.
            I’m truly staggered by your blinkered view.


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            Mattb

            comprehension fail Debbie? Ahh well. In the words of the great Tom Jones “It’s not unusual”.


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            Crakar24

            Was that a compliment Mattb? I will take it as one until i hear different

            Cheers


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  • #

    [...] Nova has posted on the flagrant waste of money involved in the new Desalination Plant to serve the people of Melbourne. Here is my [...]


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    murray buzza

    Follow the money trail on this desal project.The greenies want to let vast amounts of water from dams down the murray river into the ocean,then they want to use vast amounts of electricity made by coal power to make sea water into fresh water,just because they did not want to build another dam which would cost about 3 billion dollars.Thanks people of Melbourne for voting for Mr.Brumby/Mr.Bracks.It never ceases to amaze me that this is a true story.


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      JayTYee

      Like I said, I didn’t vote for them. I was at school with Mr Brumby and he seemed a reasonable chap back then (although he was never a ‘boy from the bush’, as people believe The family home was in Eaglemont, less than a dozen suburban train stops from the CBD). Remember, though, Brumby didn’t win an election as leader. Ever. As for Bracks, how anybody could vote for a buffoon like him beggars belief. Still, even Julia’s popular down here, if the polls are to be believed.


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    John Knowles

    Like most rural Australian households I collect roof water in galvanised iron tanks. During the big drought of the 90s I fitted a dry compost toilet which is a bit of a nuisance to service each month but saves us wasting at least 400 lit/wk of water. The remaining ‘grey water’ from the kitchen and bathroom percolates through a graded gravel reed-bed, starting at 75mm and reducing down to 10mm gravel, followed by a 25m long bed of washed sand. The water at the other end is clean enough to run in the clothes washing machine and if I fitted an ozone bubble unit, we could drink the water.
    All this costs around $10k/house and there are periodic maintenance issues so while ever town water is cheap no-one in their right mind would bother but now our water costs are only a few cents per kilolitre and importantly, we never run out of water.


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    Barrak Gillard

    Ah Labor, the windmill on the hill…


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    Water Wizard

    The Wonthaggi Desalination Plant has put Victoria on the stupid MAP. Its arguably the most stupid decision in our country’s history. It’s going to cost $18.6B in nominal dollars for delivery of no water. This is the wholesale price to Melbourne Water. It gets marked up from MW to the three water retailers, then to the users. The mark up is normally 50%, so 1.5**2 = 2.25 times. So the 18.6 becomes $42B. The difference is taxes and charges. This is one of the uses of the plant by government. Then add the GST on top. So its now $46B.

    It now starts to look like the NBN capex. The NBN will at least provide a faster local connection if you ever get connected.

    At $46B the Desal plant will provide nothing. Now lets turn it on. Gee that means $24.3B to make water. This now equates to $60B retail on the top side for 150 GL/year over 27.75 years. That is about $15/kL nominal.

    Ofcourse, none of this is going to happen as Victoria will go belly up long before we turn this plant on. We can speed up the default process by turning it on now.

    Then the CEO from Suez (really the French Government) has the nerve to ask for another $1B for damages because it rained on the flood plain they were building it on and the unions did a ‘go slow’ to extend the gravy train. One term Ted remains aloof. “Its all Labor’s fault”. The truth is that anyone who says to Aquasure, “Sorry you did not meet the terms of the contract, we are going to pay $4B, goodbye”, is going to be the next government. Suez knows this and is trying to load up the front end.


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    pat

    a melange of MUFFOG 2012:

    3 Dec: Australian: Ben Packham: Greens’ war on approvals
    As the states move to slash “green tape”, environment groups have vowed a new wave of US-style litigation to overturn development approvals.
    The Australian reports: ENVIRONMENT groups have formed a “council of war” to combat business and state government demands to cut “green tape”…
    Help wanted: Christine Milne is advertising for a new communications director to replace Tim Hollo. Hollo, who is leaving to spend more time with family, says it’s “a brilliant opportunity to work for one of Australia’s true leaders”.
    Resources: The Milne office is a surprisingly large operation. Documents tabled in the Senate reveal the Greens Leader has a personal staff of 15, including four senior advisers, five advisers, four assistant advisers, and two executive assistants…
    Former Greens Leader Bob Brown will opening the Chartered Secretaries Australia National conference with an address on principles of good governance, in Melbourne…
    Gold plated (AFR): Liberal states could block Prime ­Minister Julia Gillard’s plan to cut electricity prices by reducing over­investment in poles and wires, criticising key elements of Labor’s reform blueprint, including a rollout of ***smart meters, time-of-use pricing and a beefed up energy market
    regulator…
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/capital-circle/greens-war-on-approvals/story-fn59nqgy-1226528685014


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    pat

    dinosaur MSM continues its decline:

    3 Dec: AdWeek: New York Times Offers Newsroom Buyouts
    About 30 jobs will be eliminated, according to Jill Abramson
    Over the next few days, Abramson wrote, certain employees will be asked to accept voluntary severance packages. (Newspaper Guild members also have the option to apply for a buyout even if they’re not among those contacted by the NYT.) If the quota isn’t met through buyouts, Abramson will be “forced to go to layoffs,” she said.
    “Over the past several years, our colleagues on the business side have seen their numbers reduced by more than 60 percent,” wrote Abramson. “While we have had reductions too, including a round of buyouts and layoffs that claimed 100 jobs in 2008, the newsroom has been spared the worst of it.”…
    The most recent round of newsroom buyouts came in the fall of 2011 when about 20 news staffers took severance packages. Both 2008 and 2009 saw more widespread cuts. About 100 jobs were eliminated in each of those years.
    http://www.adweek.com/news/press/new-york-times-offers-newsroom-buyouts-145666


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  • #
    James

    Where exactly does the “Endless Drought” quote come from?


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    • #
      Dave

      .
      Bob Brown in 2006 warned of an endless drought:

      “From melting polar ice to the spectre of permanent drought in previously productive farmlands, the (World Meteorological Bureau’s) report makes clear that climate change is not just a future threat, it is damaging Australia now.”


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        James

        “the spectre of permanent drought”

        That is not the same as suggesting we’re having “Endless Drought” and Melbourne needs a desalination plant.

        I’m no fan of desal plants myself, but I also dought the decision to build one is based on a claim of Endless Drought – so I’d like to know where the original advice comes from and then how it became that government used this advice.


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        • #
          Sonny

          Oh really James?
          Can you suggest another good reason why a massive facility to remove salt from sea water would be built Without advice that we wouldn’t be getting the stuff FREE FROM THE SKY?

          I can’t believe you would bother to even post this question.


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          Streetcred

          “dought” … doubt


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          AndyG55

          If the Mitchell River dam had been built when it should have been, some 20 years ago, Melbourne would never have needed a desal plant.
          It was only the ineptitude of planning due to ALP/green “whims” that lead to the panic over water supply and the momumental waste of money on a white elephant that should never have even been considered.


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            AndyG55

            Sydney is ok for now, unless we get a really long deep drought. Again, if the greenies would get the **** out the way and let them build Welcome Reef, Sydney would be secure of a very long time.

            Brisbane desperately need its other new dam, for both flood mitigation and for storage. The next BIG storm in around 20 or 40 years time will against cause major flooding issues if the second dam is not built, and the drought that leads up to this will also stress the supply, and they will forget the lessons of 2011, just like they forgot the lessons of 1974 flood.

            Adelaide.. good luck!! Small storage, and reliance on the Murray River. Desal plant probably needed, but with the amount of wind and other unreliable energy sources, there could still be a major problem with water supply in a major drought.


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        AndyG55

        And I’m sure the idiot Flannery said something about our dam never filling again !


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          AndyG55

          ps.. That worked out well in Brissie, hey !

          Gees I hope we get a really good downpour in the Warragamba catchment, and the new spillway is forced into action. (that’s one massive spillway !!)

          Watch Flannery’s little house float out to sea, with him in it, hopefully :-)


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            Craig Thomas

            That’s nice. Do all d[snip] wish death and destruction on those they disagree with?

            Does it feel good to be a complete retard?

            [How about: You must be a retard because you keep using the "D" word?] ED


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          • #

            (Interesting–the “d” word showed up in the email……)
            Answer to Craig: No, not all individuals opposed to the non-scientific theory known as anthropomorphic climate change want death and destruction for those who disagree with them. Some would argue the wish stated is simply that the individual meet the consequences of their actions. I think it’s a bit nasty, but actions do have consequences. Plus, there is no real way to act on the desire–only nature can fulfill the wish. Since nature does not take commands from humans, it’s a hollow wish.
            As for other death and destruction desired for those of differing opinions, every population out there individuals who make such wishes. When it comes to climate change, both sides seem to have approximately the same percentage as the general population. I don’t have any actual numbers on this, but could do a quick study if you like.
            Civil discourse is not a strong point for human beings.


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          Debbie

          He most certainly did.
          He also claimed that snow would be a ‘fleeting fancy’ by 2012.
          Ironically his abode on the Hawkesbury was in danger of flooding from the spillway in 2012 and just along the way there was a record amount of that ‘fleeting fancy’ in 2012.
          Seems that ‘mother gaia’ is not that interested in cooperating with Tim’s public predictive pronouncements?
          Deliciously ironic.


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      memoryvault

      .
      Dr David Jones, Head of the Climate Analysis department of the BoM started it in 2008.

      IT MAY be time to stop describing south-eastern Australia as gripped by drought and instead accept the extreme dry as permanent, one of the nation’s most senior weather experts warned yesterday.

      “Perhaps we should call it our new climate,” said the Bureau of Meteorology’s head of climate analysis, David Jones.

      http://www.smh.com.au/news/environment/this-drought-may-never-break/2008/01/03/1198949986473.html

      Since then it has been picked up by everybody from Flim Flammery in the same year, right through to a “study” published by Merryll Lynch a month ago.


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      James,

      Rather than the words, why not look at the figures. There is a 2.5MB file of
      the justification from 2007 “Our Water Our Future
      http://images.theage.com.au/file/2011/12/09/2828453/water_policy.pdf
      On page 20 Figure 3.3 Melbourne storage inflows 1913 – 2006
      Average Inflow 1913-2005: 588 GL
      Average Inflow 1996-2005: 453 GL
      Average Inflow 1997-2006: 387 GL

      It was the assumption that the 1997-2006 period was the new normal that justified the 150GL desal plant.


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    Geoff Sherrington

    On a scale of decades, my all-time MUFFOG choice is the descision for Australia to prohibit nuclear powered electricity generation (and submarines). Strangely, nuclear might yet be the saving. This is still at the lateral thinking stage, but both the USA and Russia are taking the nuclear electricity plants from older ships and subs and burying them in trenches or leaving them quayside. Now, a sub needs 100% performance for life, more or less, but a desal plant can always switch to the grid in case of failure or refuelling time. So how about a study of getting a relatively new decommissioned vessel with a few more years before refuelling, tying it up near Wonthaggi and plugging it into the desal plant? This would, at the same time, help provide backup when the critical few days a year overcome the power supply and demand an oversupply of plant for most of the year and a wastage through the spinning reserve.
    My initial calculations seem to have a chance of success technically. Policy-wise, all that is needed is a day or two to sign in an Act of Fed Parliament.


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    Geoff Sherrington

    James writes December 4, 2012 at 2:45 pm Where exactly does the “Endless Drought” quote come from?

    The most recent reference I’ve seen is James December 4, 2012 at 2:45 pm.


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    John in France

    I don’t see what would be wrong with trying to cook up a much cheaper just-in-case solution, especially as they might have done well to learn from history. Browsing through the works of Francis Bacon in search of something else the other day, I stumbled upon the following in his book Sylva Sylvarum : or a Naturall History, published in 1626.
    books.google.fr/books?id=x0akhiXCUnwC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_atb#v=onepage&q&f=false
    Page 1 (pdf page 30)

    Digg a pit upon the sea shore, somewhat above the High-water marke, and sink it as deepe as the the Low-Water marke; and as the tide cometh in, it will fill with water, Fresh and Potable. This is commonly pratized upon the Coast of Barbary, where other fresh water is wanting. And Cesar knew this well, when he was besieged in Alexandria : For by Digging pits in the Sea Shore, hee did frustrate the Laborious Workes of the Enemies, which had turned the Sea Water upon the the Wells of Alexandria : and so saved his Army, being then in Desperation. But Caesar mistook the Cause, For he thought that all Sea-Sands had Naturall Springs of Fresh Water. But it is plaine, that it is the Sea-Water ; because the the Pit filleth according to the Measure of the Tide : And the Sea-Water passing or Strayning through the Sandes, leaveth the Saltnesse.

    Might be worth a try – do you think?


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      Graeme No.3

      Requires a source of fresh water e.g. river nearby or frequent rain, to maintain a layer above the tidal salt water.


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        John in France

        That sounds like a variant of Caesar’s take on the subject. Look, I am not saying that Bacon was right, just that a simpler, less expensive (and temporary, not permanent) solution may be worth looking for. The other thing would be to see if communities living on the North African coast are still familiar with this technique. Many desert communities still use the Archimedean screw for raising water at an oblique angle from low-lying pools or streams. The ancients had their wrong paradigms as we still do (look at AGW), but there is much evidence to suggest they were no stupider than we are
        I strongly suspect that installing the desal plants in question is a case of the French ironic saying, “Why do simple when you can do complicated?”


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  • #
    manalive

    Let’s not forget to acknowledge the then Minister for Environment, Water etc. Mr Professor John Thwaites (Thwaitesy) who, together with Premier Bracks, was largely responsible for the white elephant, followed his leader by hastily resigning before the shit hit the fan landing on his feet, but who oddly doesn’t mention it in his CV.


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    bananabender

    A family member works for an agency involved in water management in Victoria. He told me that at least six alternate water supply options for Melbourne were presented to the Minister. The desalination plant was considered the least viable. The preferred option was harvesting storm water.


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    warcroft

    These fear mongering articles just don’t stop!

    Perths sea level on the rise!

    Theres another one of those wanky international climate gatherings again isnt there? Thats why we are being flooded (no pun intended) with these sorts of stories.


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    MadJak

    O/T,

    Apologies – after years of stalling by the Government and FWA (a 3 year tick and flick investigation which took how many weeks to write each page?) , and repeated claims from this guy that he’s looking forward to his day in court to prove his innocence, his lawyers are now claiming the statute of limitations applies and so he can’t be tried.

    Sounds really innocent to me for him to now try dodging his day in court.

    Guess what folks – Justice doesn’t apply if powerful people are care only for keeping it.

    For those not in the know, this guy remaining in his seat ha been about the only thing keeping this appalling government in power (and giving them the ability to ram through the carbon tax against the peoples wishes).


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      inedible hyperbowl

      Yep, and these days it is also worth checking the ALP/union history of the person hearing the proceedings.


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      • #
        Catamon

        Or in fact the Liberal Party, Opus Dei connections may be more relevant.


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        • #
          Dave

          .
          Yup. Hit it in one Catamongst.

          It’s all a catholic secret society (can’t tell you the leader but it’s a bishop or higher in Aus) that control the LIBS, the HSU, FWA, and believe it not, the Law Society. It’s the only way they can stop the CAGW and the ALP.

          But don’t worry – IPCC & Flannery have connections with the Pope Head Cat and all will be put right in Australia, Catamongst. Also Bishop & Abbott are not their real names – just titles in the secret society. Bet you didn’t know that.

          Got to go and design a Desal Plant for Tully in NQ – they’re running out of water, the same as OK Tedi in PNG – to such an extent that mining will cease in 2 weeks if it doesn’t rain. (One of these two statements is false – the other is true – you can cheat by checking Cat Nap)

          BTW – the Keating Hawke duo are in on it too – they want Mark Latham back as PM. But they’re old news Catamonsgt.

          Are the Greens in on it as well Catamongst?


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    Bevan

    I felt as though I might blow a fuse when I heard the rubbish put out by CSIRO about increased CO2 generation causing drastic temperature rise into the future. Their report seemed to be in all of the media. However I have not seen or heard anything of this desalination plant and its cost other than in this article.

    Clearly we are just not getting through to the public or the media. It would seem as though some change of tactic is called for, otherwise we are wasting our time agreeing with each other. It may feel good but it does not seem to be making a difference.


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      Sonny

      Bevan,
      There is no battle to win unfortunately. While the media puppet masters want to continue the meme of global warming (I mean climate change) 51% of the POPPULATION will believe in it and 99% of the POPPULATION won’t do anything to correct them.

      We are just fucking sheep to them.


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      MadJak

      I found it interesting that whilst it was all over the ABC news, the other stations didn’t seem to pay the latest scare any heed.

      I think the ABC talking heads know they’re getting the pink slip after the next election, so like a bunch of dumb cornered animals, they’re just becoming more and more shrill.

      Ghandi said it best – first they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they argue with you and then they lose.


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        ExWarmist

        What makes you think that anyone at the ABC will get the sack if there is a LNP win at the next election?

        Colour me cynical – I see several departments that run their ministers.

        Defense.
        Treasury.
        Climate.

        Others…

        Given that – why should the ABC be any different?


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    jaymam

    The Manapouri power scheme in New Zealand pours up to 44 gigalitres of water per day into the sea. That water is completely wasted, and the fresh water is actually damaging to the marine life in Deep Cove.
    Australia would be doing us a service by shipping that water away. In four days NZ could supply Melbourne’s annual water requirements of 150 gigalitres.
    If you’d rather pipe it away you’ll need a 10 metre diameter pipe.


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  • #

    “Most Flagrant Abuse Of Taxpayers Money”

    M-FAT-M.


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  • #

    I don’t get it. The UK has been going downhill for years, and the PC brigade and the CAGW brigade have been having a field day here for years – field years? But I never thought this would happen in Oz. I’ve had two visits to you guys, a week in 1985 (Setting up a library system for CSIRO!) and four weeks in 2002, doing a road trip in SA to do the wines and feast like kings and queens, popping up into the outback for the eclipse. I love the place – loved the straight-talking nature of you Ozzies, loving the food and wine. Penfolds Grange? Embalm me in it, please, starting NOW. Loving the craic – huge fun in bars watching us being slaughtered in the Ashes whilst we were out there. Over all, a common sense, all muck in together, way of life.

    So WTF happened that you got these bastards? I just don’t get it. Anyway – keep up the good work, Jo, don’t let the bastards grind you down, and I’m looking forward to seeing your husbands presentation on WUWT-TV when Anthony puts it up – I gather it was very well received.

    So how the


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      JayTYee

      Penfolds Grange? Embalm me in it, please, starting NOW

      Expensive tastes you have there, Jeremy. Pop down to your local and grab a bottle of their St Henri, or Bin 707 instead. Both brilliant, and much cheaper.

      So WTF happened that you got these bastards? I just don’t get it

      Because we’re politically schizophrenic. We have Ups and Downs, and this phase is one of the worst downs. I may be on my own here, but I truly believe that the current mob are out for revenge for the Dismissal of the Whitlam Government in 1975. The last Conservative PM we had, John Howard, was the Treasurer in the Government that was formed after that event, and was thus a hated figure, hence the almost manic desire to tear down everything he achieved. The current Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, considers Howard as a mentor, and so he must be hated too. Add all this together with an education system that is dominated by the product of a militant, left wing Teacher’s union system, where An Inconvenient Truth forms part of the curriculum and you’ll begin to see what happened. Then, we have kids who, when not in school, are babysat by TV, where Sesame Street rules for the younguns. Dunno if you have that where you are. Brainwashing crap, IMO.

      Now, we also have the FaceBook generation, who seem to live in a caricature of normality, we have inane and puerile radio “personalities” who make prank telephone calls for a laugh, and now we must be sorry for them when one goes a “little bit wrong”. and costs someone their life, because the poor little poppets are suffering from the stress so much that they have been forced to delete their Twitter accounts.

      We are “governed” by a bunch of self serving cretins, who were put in as a minority Government by a trio of even more self serving independents who saw a chance to feather their nests, never mind that two of them were “representing” electorates that were around 75% conservative. The same Government accepts the vote of a bloke who thinks it’s just fine to use the contributions of very lowly paid hospital workers to the union he was an official of to live it up at restaurants, brothels and god knows what else to the tune of many hundreds of thousand of dollars.

      If you ever come back, come to Melbourne, pop down to Brunswick Street, and point out the “straight talking Ozzie”. Never mind embalming; in the words of Basil Fawlty, “we should have him stuffed”.


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    Considerate Thinker

    I get considerable amusement at Julia’s attempt at diverting attention from the effect of their Carbon Tax flow on to all aspects of household costs ( far in excess of the paltry bribe now spent by all those “low income” households !!!)by accusing the power companies of “gold plating” the power delivery systems, completely ignoring the track record of Labor in “Gold Plating” their schemes far into the future like the Desal Plants, National Broadband, or designer dream schemes largely uncosted and likely to be a debt millstone around the necks of future governments – Gold Plated Mykki in Victoria and the Agricultural robbing water diversions schemes ?.

    Well we might ask why the Bracks/Brumby Government opted for such extravagant schemes, bad timing, bad governance? Or did it go back to Steve Bracks aspiration to grow Melbourne Population with 40 million rapid population growth, in a City already gridlocked with traffic, and aging power delivery systems. Methinks that Julian needs to be very careful about accusing anyone of gold plating anything as the term might just be applied where it has been well and truly earned by her Party, propped up of course by the green madness of the extreme left!!

    The Desal white elephant is just a small part of the waste of taxpayers money and resources consider the gold plated effort to buy a temporary? seat on the UN security council?


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      Dennis

      Electricity cost rise alone amounts to $9 for every $100 of electricity bill. Once all businesses have factored their carbon tax liability into their costings from their suppliers including electricity supplier they will add a profit margin and pass the new prices onto their customers and end users will pay GST on top of the pile of new added costs. The impact on cost of living will be significantly more than we have experienced so far over 5 months. Businesses that have high electricity usage will close down and move overseas, the Whyalla steelworks is only remaining open because the government is paying subsidies to keep it open. In NSW Kandos Cement and the Kurri Kurri aluminium smelter have closed and while carbon dioxide tax is not the only reason it is the deciding factor. I know of one business that closed manufacturing down in Sydney and moved the machinery overseas to access cheaper power. The larger the operation the longer it will take for them to plan and move, but it will happen over coming not too distant years.


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    pat

    warcroft -

    from the Herald Sun on the Perth sea level rise:

    SEA levels on the Perth (Western Australia) coastline are rising at three times the global average, the latest State of Australian Cities report shows.
    In a statistic that federal Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese described as “disturbing” and “extraordinary”, readings since 1993 have indicated sea levels are rising by between 9mm and 10mm per year.
    The global average is around three millimetres per year.
    With temperatures rising and rainfall falling, environmental changes are having little effect on the numbers of people moving to Perth, with the city population growing by 2.6 per cent since 2001 – making it the fastest growing capital in the country…
    FACTBOX:
    Perth has the highest proportion of residents who feel that their city has a quality natural environment (79 per cent)…
    http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/national/perths-sea-level-on-the-rise-50-days-over-35c-in-2011/story-fndo486p-1226529899246

    Australian Govt: Dept of Transport & Infrastructure: State of Australian Cities 2012
    State of Australian Cities 2012 was launched by The Hon Anthony Albanese MP, Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, on 4 December 2012…
    http://www.infrastructure.gov.au/infrastructure/mcu/soac/index.aspx

    PDF: State of Austn Cities 2012: Perth
    Sea level rise around Australia has been equal to and in some cases greater than the global average of approximately three millimetres per year. Since 1993 Perth, along with Darwin, has experienced the highest rates of sea level rise among our major coastal cities measuring nine to ten millimetres per year (tidal gauge measurements at Hillarys Western Australia), well above the global average…
    http://www.infrastructure.gov.au/infrastructure/mcu/soac/files/factsheets_2012/Perth_Final_Factsheet_FA.pdf

    ***WATCH YOUR SUPER COS THAT’S WHAT IT IS ALL ABOUT!

    Anthony Albanese MP: Speech at launch of State of Australian Cities 2012
    Green Building Council of Australia, Melbourne
    While the global average rise is three millimetres per year, Perth is experiencing a quite extraordinary annual rise of between nine and ten millimetres per year.
    It is interesting to see how cities are gradually adapting to climate change through the development of green infrastructure, but the report also describes the magnitude of the task ahead.
    ***At least two-thirds of Australian superannuation investment fund managers have not recognised the impact climate change will have on investment portfolios…
    http://anthonyalbanese.com.au/speech-at-launch-of-state-of-australian-cities-2012

    HOPE SOMEONE CAN FIND THE “SCIENTIFIC” BASIS BEHIND THE CLAIMS ON THE SEA LEVEL RISE.


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      Dennis

      Pat some time ago I read an information board erected alongside the Crowdy Head Lighthouse on the mid north coast of New South Wales south of Port Macquarie and north of Taree. The information, and please excuse me if I am not quoting accurately, indicated that at this time the ocean is lowering again and if continued the now underwater continental shelf some 30 kilometres from the coast today will again become the coastline of Australia or New South Wales. Some thousands of years ago Crowdy Head was an island and now it is part of the mainland. As I recall it we will remain safe and dry in New South Wales for thousands of years to come assuming that the process continues. I remember reading an Australian Geographic magazine a few years ago that contained a map of Australia when the Aborigines lived and hunted the grasslands at the now submerged continental shelf some thousands of years ago.


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        KinkyKeith

        Hi Dennis

        Interesting stuff.

        Here in Newcastle the local aborigines would have found the sea shore about 19 km east of where it is now and would have been driven to the current location over the period of 13,000 years starting about 20,000 years back and ending about 7,000 years ago.

        KK


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    pat

    TonyfromOz -

    can you please pick this apart for those of us (me) who might find it a bit complicated:

    5 Dec: Courier Mail: Steven Wardill: Queensland households with solar panels likely to be hit with tariff to pay for ‘poles and wires’
    THOUSANDS of households with rooftop solar systems are set to be stung with significant fixed-tariff fees.
    A report ordered by the Newman Government has recommended a special tariff for all solar households to force them to pay their share for the “poles and wires” network.
    The tariff fees would be a bitter blow for households that shelled out thousands of dollar to fit solar systems to reduce their electricity bill.
    However, households without solar are being forced to wear the cost of subsidising those with such systems, as well as pay for the over-priced power they produce.
    Solar households still need the electricity network to be capable of meeting their demands when their panels don’t produce power.
    However, they mostly avoid contributing to network costs, which account for about 50 per cent of electricity prices, because they regularly don’t access the common household tariff…
    Recent modelling showed the 44-cent solar feed-in tariff, currently paid by distributors for the power produced by more than 200,000 households, would add an extra $240 to average power bills.
    Power bills would also rise by a further $40 to recover network costs avoided by solar households.
    In a draft report, the Queensland Competition Authority recommended fixed fees be applied to solar households…
    http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/queensland-households-with-solar-panels-likely-to-be-hit-with-tariff-to-pay-for-poles-and-wires/story-e6freoof-1226530032061


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    • #
      Streetcred

      Excellent … bloody free-loaders !


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      Graeme No.3

      Since those with enough solar panels don’t get an electricity bill there is no chance of the electricity supplier getting “EXTRAS”.

      Look at your last bill; what percentage of the bill is for actual usage? I have put in solar panels so can’t be accurate, but my bills before used to be over 60% for ‘supply charge’, ‘GST’ etc. Much of that supply charge was for the cost of new poles etc. which the Newman Government has to pay for (at least until electricity suppliers are privatised).

      The other answer for the Government would be to arbitrarily slash the feed-in tariff. This would stop anybody buying solar panels (now that the Federal Gov. has reduced the allotted REC’s thus raising the initial cost), and cut the return on investment for those installed. With less feed-in tariff being loaded onto the total, then split between the users, the cost of electricity to all will drop.

      Much joy among the general population and politicians, until the first realise that continuing to add wind and solar capacity will put the cost back up, and the second realise that those who spent $thousands “to save the planet” are putting nooses for them on the nearest lamp post.

      If feed in tariffs are abolished then those with panels will find the rate of return dropping from 14-16% to the real rate of 1% p.a. i.e. 50 years to get your money back on something that won’t last 25 years.


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      Bite Back

      Damned thieves! First they suck you in. Then they stab you in the back.


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    pat

    Kyoto – the biggest MUFFOG of all:

    3 Dec: Australian: Tim Wilson: Failure to extend Kyoto agenda will mean pain at home
    (Tim Wilson is director of climate change policy at the Institute of Public Affairs and is attending the Qatar climate change conference this week.)
    (DOHA) This year Julia Gillard and Climate Change Minister Greg Combet are staying away, instead sending Combet’s junior.
    The reason is simple – the only expected outcome is the superficial extension of the failed Kyoto Protocol…
    Data from the European Union shows that its preaching for emissions cuts was matched with action only because of declines in industrial activity following from the global financial crisis…
    It’s really only Europe and Australia that are pushing hard to save policy and political face after imposing domestic carbon schemes on the grounds that the rest of the world will follow.
    ???Despite the decline in political toxicity of the carbon tax, for Australia and the Gillard government there is a lot at stake.
    For global action, anything other than a full recommitment to Kyoto by the end of the week will be as significant as the collapse in efforts to secure a new treaty in Copenhagen in 2009…
    Considering Australia’s carbon pricing regime is built on the architecture of Kyoto, by the end of this year it will operate outside of an international legal operational framework. But in practice minimising the economic harm of the carbon tax and a post-2015 emissions trading scheme requires other countries to take on equivalent costs.
    The Treasury’s strong growth, low pollution modelling assumed that other countries would have carbon prices by 2015 and that Australia would be buying cheaper emissions reduction from all over the world.
    The pain won’t just be economic. The absence of commitments to equivalent emissions cuts means there won’t be any environmental dividend either. Pity Australia’s national interest.
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/opinion/failure-to-extend-kyoto-agenda-will-mean-pain-at-home/story-e6frgd0x-1226528457765


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    Dylan

    For flops you really can’t beat the Gold Coast (Tugan) desal plant. It was mothballed after one year and is unlikely ever to be restarted again due to just about every component being defective.

    SE Queenslands water capacity is at 94.8% and the wet season hasn’t started yet. The problem at the moment is too much water NOT too little.


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      Winston

      Perhaps Dylan, what we really need is a massive investment to alter the existing Desal plant, to convert all that Fresh Water back into Sea Water- to convert it to a “Sal” Plant if you will. Now that would be a MUFFOG to conjure with.


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      Dennis

      And when the dams were claimed to be struggling to supply Brisbane there were secondary dams full of water not being mentioned as back up supplies.


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      Dylan

      The Gold Coast Bulletin is reporting that the desal plant has cost $16m annually in its mothballed state!


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    • #
      Bite Back

      The UN wouldn’t care if it was 125,000 or even 125,000,000 scientists. So we shouldn’t bother them with facts. What we need is something more forceful — say refusing to fund the UN and let it die on the vine. I can think of a whole lot of good uses for their headquarters complex in New York City. Just for one good example, wouldn’t it make a wonderful homeless shelter? And there are so many homeless. You could provide for a thousand in that one location. :-)


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    pat

    btw The Australian has a video at the top of Tim Wilson’s article, headlined:

    - New climate study shows 5C warming
    Atmospheric CO2 levels are placing Earth on track for warming that could breach 5C by 2100, a study shows -

    shame on the MSM.


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      Winston

      I think this could be a compelling case of “not letting the facts stand in the way of a good story”.

      A considered analysis of the recent lack of warming for roughly half the satellite record would, you would think, make the truly scientifically minded at the very least more circumspect in their warnings and predictions, even if they did honestly believe that CAGW was a probable or even possible likelihood as a result of CO2 rise. Instead, we have doubling down with the rhetoric, escalation of the alarmist prophesy of doom, and ironically enough has exponentially increased their certainty that they are correct in their assertions!

      So, Gee Aye and Matt and James and Brookesy- tell me – How do you reconcile and justify a lack of correlation between expected and predicted recent temperature rise and actual measurements over the last 16 years with an INCREASED certainty of Climate Armageddon? Does that seem reasonable to you, even allowing for your beliefs, that a failure is taken as a vindication? I’d be interested to see if any one of you can be honest enough to answer that particular dilemma without prevaricating or obfuscating.


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          Winston

          Because I foolishly thought you might answer a straight question with a straight answer.

          To rephrase- Do you think having made temperature rise predictions in AR4 and fallen short of those predictions in spite of increased emissions even above expectations, that a reasonable scientist would revise his predictions for 2100 upwards or downwards?


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            Gee Aye

            I’ll ask again. Why ask me?


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          • #
            Gee Aye

            or to rephrase, on what basis do you choose me to answer this rather than some other person?


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            Crakar24

            GA,

            Winston is asking “you lot” for want of a better word if you have an opinion on the fact that the push for carbon zero/carbon neutral/carbon taxation/carbon regulation is inversely proportional to the lack of of evidence/warming created by record rises in carbon dioxide.

            If you have opinion then just say so.

            Hope this clears it all up.


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            Winston

            Your previous replies on this blog suggests that you are at the very least somewhat committed to the idea of rising CO2 as the cause of rising global temperatures in the latter part of last century, and you have, again in the past, consistently defended the alarmist meme on the basis that it is consensus science, rubbishing at times those who might question this.

            So, why not ask your opinion, Gee? Are you behind a paywall or something, or is it against your religion to offer your opinion about “the greatest challenge to mankind” in the 21st century?


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            Gee Aye

            Your previous replies on this blog suggests that you are at the very least somewhat committed to the idea of rising CO2 as the cause of rising global temperatures in the latter part of last century, and you have, again in the past, consistently defended the alarmist meme on the basis that it is consensus science, rubbishing at times those who might question this.

            when?


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          • #
            Winston

            I know this is obviously your idea of facetious irony, Gee Aye, but you know what, you are right, I don’t really care what you think, not one iota.

            So, I apologise that I asked you to offer your opinion about this obviously trivial subject, or any other subject for that matter. I won’t make that mistake twice.


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          • #
            KinkyKeith

            Hi Winston

            Some time ago I saw that there were disruptive and aggressive intrusions into this blog by those who were either over-sure of their “science” or deliberately trying to create havoc and undermine the site.

            Then I heard a radio discussion about what Trolls were.

            The Disruptors and Nutto Warmers and Eco Vigilantes are “TROLLS”.

            Gee Aye is something slightly different: More of a A Benign Troll, sort of like a lone mosquito.

            This may be analogous to “benign cancers”.

            You may of course ask, “why”.

            Why would anyone want to do something so pointless, but possibly it is his way of reading the material

            and having a reason to stay involved?

            Who knows.

            No point asking him; he couldn’t explain it and like most humans he does what he does simply because

            it is “what he does”.

            KK :)


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            KinkyKeith

            Winston.

            Be careful how you respond to him.

            He is collecting data on the responses for a PhD in Philosophy and may actually be from UWA although I thought that he identified as coming from QLD.

            KK


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            Winston

            I’d be interested to see if any one of you can be honest enough to answer that particular dilemma without prevaricating or obfuscating.

            With the above quote of mine in mind, a quick review of Gee and Matt’s subsequent responses were both illuminating and indicative that the task I set them was a forlorn one.

            Were I an alarmist, I would say something in response to such a question to the effect that I felt the level of certainty being expressed by such a study was perhaps inappropriate or ill-considered or lacking in circumspection, without necessarily discrediting the premise of the potential concern the study supposedly expressed. I would perhaps go on to state what I personally felt would be the realistic likelihood of such an event or a similar scenario occuring, and perhaps also i might offer an opinion as to how long before observable warming would have to resume before I would be possibly revising or modifying the basis of my CAGW or AGW belief.

            So keen are the alarmists not to give an inch, not to proffer an opinion, not to venture anything which might be interpreted as negative to the selling of the alarmist meme, that their dodging and weaving makes them appear merely as tap dancing bears in some sort of cut rate circus, staggering about in an ungainly fashion and completely out of time with the music to boot. Entertaining after a fashion, but not worth the price of admission.


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        Mattb

        I’m not actually sure what the question is? It would be hard to reconcile such a thing, if it existed.


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    ExWarmist

    On an unrelated topic – Tim Flannery is apparently in deep despair over the news that the last Unicorn was shot!


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    Walter Plinge

    “Perhaps we could have built a dam?” Indeed, as Andrew Bolt has discussed at length. The Mitchell River floods regularly, even in ‘drought’ years. Plans for a dam on the Mitchell were drawn up, IIRC, 40 years ago. It was long ago flagged as Melbourne’s next dam site as the population grew. But Labor declared it a national park to prevent this.


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    AndyG55

    Britain yesterday pledged almost £2 billion in “climate aid” to help finance foreign projects including wind turbines in Africa and greener cattle farming in Colombia.

    Each household will contribute £70 to schemes to tackle climate change in developing countries before March 2015, under plans championed by Ed Davey, the Liberal Democrat Energy Secretary.


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    bananabender

    Desal plants are better at creating jobs for unionists than dams.


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      Dennis

      They seem also to be a wealth generator for those in the know and another part of climate change theatre props used to fool the gullible into becoming a believer of alarmist propaganda.


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    Dennis

    There should be an inquiry into the desalination plants, former NSW premier Bob Carr retired and was given office facilities alongside NSW government cabinet ministers in the government office block, he became a $500K pa consultant to Macquarie Bank and a consultant to a certain desalination plant supplier.


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    Jambo

    Article in today’s Australian giving a potential positive benefit of desal plants. University College London’s Stefaan Simons says that the failure to enact carbon pricing leaves South Australia vulnerable to to minor increases in temperature.
    He then goes on to say that “They should consider setting up water recycling plants which may be costly but had enormous long-term benefit for employment and tourism.”

    If tourists would flock to a recycling plant then surely the desals can do their bit and start welcoming the coach parties.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/higher-education/a-british-academic-has-warned-that-complacency-could-prove-disastrous/story-e6frgcjx-1226530001378


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      Dave

      .

      Prof Stefaan is highly trained in temperature flux in regard to locality situation of desal plants and its inverse proportionality to tourism.

      Working in Kazakhstan he definately understands the relationship of tourism in relation to desal plants.

      Russia also has massive tourism to their desal plants. He has taken this on board.

      Professor Stefaan Simons, Professor of Chemical Engineering, UCL Special Advisor on Kazakhstan and Honorary Professor of the Kazakh National Technical University

      Professor Simons is Director of the UCL Centre for CO2 Technology, a multidisciplinary research and training Centre focused on the development of innovative technologies for the reduction, removal and sequestration (long-term storage) of carbon dioxide.

      In addition, he is Director of Engineering at Carbon8 Systems Ltd, a multi-award winning company that is commercializing a revolutionary technique for treating waste streams using carbon dioxide, known as accelerated carbonation technology.

      Professor Simons is also Head of the Colloid and Surface Engineering Group at UCL, focusing on particulate interactions at the nano and micro length scales.

      Professor Simons is a Chartered Engineer and Fellow of the IChemE, is Chair of the IChemE Particle Technology Subject Group and sits on the IChemE Accreditation Committee.

      Since 1994 he has been working with universities in Kazakhstan and, more recently Russia, developing modern chemical engineering degree curricula. In December 2008, Professor Simons was awarded a major grant from the “Trans-European Mobility Scheme for University Studies” (TEMPUS) for a project whose aim is to develop chemical engineering degree curricula at leading technical institutes in Kazakhstan and Russia.

      The project also involves universities and industrial organizations from Italy, Germany and the Czech Republic.

      As UCL’s Special Advisor on Kazakhstan, Professor Simons advises the Vice-Provost (Academic and International) on, and works to promote, UCL’s academic and other relationships with Kazakhstan.

      Make up your own mind on Prof Simo of Kazakhstan et. al.

      For the last 16 years, based in Kazakhstan, Prof Stefaan knows all about the South Australian problem of temperature increase in regard to desal plants and CO2 Tax.

      He’ll be on Rottnest Island next week (he’s swimming over to save CO2 footprint) to evaluate their Windmill diesel driven desal plant and its effect on temperature to the locals.

      He’s asked if 3M and JB can swim over with him.


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    Juliar

    The legacy of Labor in Victoria is the Desalination Plant. Massive joke costing taxpayers billions.


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      MadJak

      And we will never ever let them forget it.

      Now that’s a promise that’s easy to keep.

      The LNP should ensure that the costs of the Desal plant should be itemised on every water bill with a reference to those who pushed it through- until every cent is paid back.


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        Juliar

        It seems that some taxpayers are forgiving them. Labor has wasted so much of Victorian Taxpayers’ money that could be going into building a train line to the Airport, improving hospitals or improving schools.


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      KinkyKeith

      No

      It wasn’t a joke.

      Somebody has the MONEY.

      They are also obliged to vote “correctly” to repay those who organised the “work’.

      This technique of bleeding the tax payer is an old one.

      In New York apparently, many of the large municipal buildings were built over budget, overtime and as

      political “thank you’s” for supporting voters.

      Which reminds me; the present federal government has run up huge borrowings in our names to “pay” all of the

      “workers” who were so supportive at the last election and at the Rudd removal.

      How do we make Politicians ACCOUNTABLE?

      KK


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    Jambo

    Another cracking article on “The Conversation” for those that are not up-to-date with cutting edge university research. Apparently anybody concerned with potential health problems related to wind-farms also believes in vampires. I kid you not:

    https://theconversation.edu.au/vampires-and-wind-farms-mass-hysteria-can-be-a-pain-in-the-neck-11122

    Clutching at ever decreasing straws.


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    Mattb

    other than this unit being oversized as a bit of a cock up… is there an issue with Desal? The WA units seem to be pretty damn useful as I observe our annual rainfall this year will be about 600mm on an average 850mm.

    Plus I’d wager that whoever has a go politically at the Melb desal plant will be feeling pretty foolish in the next drought as brown playing fields make good photos for the press.


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      AndyG55

      Perth and Adelaide, desal is probably the only viable drought security measure.

      Rainfall and terrain don’t really allow for large scale dams.

      Aquifer storage in Perth will help a bit.

      But Melbourne, there’s a really nice site for a dam, just up on the Mitchell River.. Get rid of the national park, and just build the darn thing !!!!!!!


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      JayTYee

      Matt, John Brooks or whatever his name is asked the same question a while back, and the answer is still the same. Any atlas will show you that SA and WA are nearly all desert. Funny that. When Brumby went on his little jaunt to inspect a Desal plant, where did he go?? I’ll give you a hint: it wasn’t Scotland.


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    Considerate Thinker

    I smiled at the quite reasonable request from Winston for a coterie regular (and somewhat like minded) posters to explain in their own words –

    Quote “So, Gee Aye and Matt and James and Brookesy- tell me – How do you reconcile and justify a lack of correlation between expected and predicted recent temperature rise and actual measurements over the last 16 years with an INCREASED certainty of Climate Armageddon? Does that seem reasonable to you, even allowing for your beliefs, that a failure is taken as a vindication? I’d be interested to see if any one of you can be honest enough to answer that particular dilemma without prevaricating or obfuscating”.

    It was interesting to see that met with the classic Psychologists ploy to “answer”, a question with a question. Perhaps you needed to ask for a written report, as they often respond with a exceptionally long winded essay justifying their cause.

    I think that KK’s advice

    Quote “KinkyKeith

    December 5, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    Winston.

    Be careful how you respond to him.

    He is collecting data on the responses for a PhD in Philosophy and may actually be from UWA although I thought that he identified as coming from QLD.

    KK” unquote.

    Wise words KK, especially when we see Lewandowsky’s famous (or should that be infamous) skewed research and methodology mindset (bias) intrude into the so called “scientific results” as the data is reframed and regurgitated to the group thinkers in this country.


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      Mattb

      I answered it perfectly well. I don’t think there is a lack of correlation. If there were, it would be difficult to reconcile.


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      Gee Aye

      sheesh. Who am I? You know, I’d really like to know. It seems that my path to self discovery could be foreshortened by asking those such as you.


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      Gee Aye

      KK is remembering from a long time ago that I know of research and researchers in QLD, especially regarding projected affects on coastal groundwater (note that I say projected!) of sea level rises.

      I live in Canberra and have more than alluded to this in the past and I have no need of a second Ph.D..

      I have also more than alluded to the fact that my industry is, at least in part, lobbying. I don’t have signed-up political affiliations but I have an interest in how some, on both sides, present their views.

      I’ve also never written anything that suggests I accept that AGW is occurring. I have also never suggested that this lack of acceptance has anything to do with a requirement to accept conspiracies, scientific debasement or acceptance of the other unsupported “theories” that some bolt on to their scepticism of AGW. If they have validity then this is through evidence. In short I am a sceptic. ie I don’t exclude anyone or anything from a sceptical examination. This is impossible in absolute terms, but at least I try.


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    Considerate Thinker

    The objective of Lewandowsky and Co, is to reframe the debate as “we white hats” (the good guys) versus the nuts, kooks, cranks or anthing else we can dream up… (vampire believers!!) to smear the person or link the person to associating with that class and discredit what might otherwise be seen by the public and policy makers as credible science, by credible scientists.


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    Graham Richards

    See if you can find out where and to whom the commissions were paid!!

    If there is corruption in the Unions there would certainly be corruption where a “Green” project is involved.


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    Ann Banisher

    Sweet Jesus, $24B!??!
    …..and I thought our desal plant was expensive. I am involved with a desal plant in California that will produce about half as much water for $800M.
    A bargain at twice the price!


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    Ann Banisher

    You’ll get a sad chuckle our of this, but Wikipedia has the cost listed at $3.5B:(


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  • #

    How would you ever predict a drought? We had 10 years of drought, 2 of rain and snow, and now drought again with dust blowing 20 feet in the air. My yard has tiny sand drifts along all of the open areas and paths. Maybe we just stop building where there’s insufficient water to sustain a population and stop tearing up the prairie and bringing in horses to eat everything down to dust, adding to the blowing dust. Except that would require self-control and planning. So much easier to just kid ourselves that we can always beat nature. With billions of taxpayer dollars to keep building things that may or may not help, I doubt sanity will prevail.


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    Graeme Bird

    You have a Desal plant. Juxtapose this against the idea that as much fresh water must be free to flow to the ocean????? The scheme of the ignorant-smug is a RE-SALINATION scheme. All their plans for the rivers are in aid of RE-SALINATION. Nowhere do we see a rational plan for the variable pricing of water, in accordance with the level of the river. Nowhere do we see a plan to let everyone have a free ride when the river is high, and charge through the nose when the river is low. Why do we not see this????

    “Everything within the banks. No-one outside the banks, no-one against the banks.” Rational public goods pricing cuts the fractional reservists, and debt-merchants, out of the picture. Now we have these aquifers. In a flood the pumping ought to be reversed!! When the river runs a little bit high, the deal ought to be, for every 2 litres you pump INTO the aquifer when the river runs high, you ought to be able to pump out two litres when the river is low. Its the aquifer that will “purify” your water for you in this way. Basically 90% of dysfunction that we see in government turns out to be in service of the bankers.

    You have a Desal plant. Then you have alleged greenie RESALINATION plans. But for an authentic environmentalist, the irrigator is our best friend. Because the irrigator forces the water flowing down the river to do DOUBLE DUTY. Re-use the water before it gets to the ocean or before it evaporates. This is what the irrigator does. The irrigator is an ENHANCEMENT to the natural world. I’m not denying that humans screw up the natural world in many ways. But here is an example where the humans are an enhancement to the natural world. The quickest way you can take water to resalination is via the free-flow of a river. This is counter to the life-giving role of fresh water. The irrigator is the man that slows this tragedy.


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    Graeme Bird

    On another note do we really have to vote this time around? Can we not bribe Paul Kagame to come to our country and run things instead? Whereas the Americans are now the worst banana republic that ever existed, we are becoming banana-iite. We ought to get a proven winner to sort things out for us.


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