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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ABC bias against coal hurts the poor and the workers: Sell the ABC

A new report shows ABC journalists are fond of renewables and overlook their dismal economic value, while putting out bad news on coal, and ignoring the benefits of vast cheap profitable energy. Who could have seen that coming: a large public funded institution attracts employees who like large public funding?

The IPA arranged for a media analysis firm to compare the ABC reporting on coal and renewables.

ABC gives the green light to renewables, and the red light to Australia’s largest export industry and provider of 75% of our electricity.

ABC accused of bias against coalmining

Andrew Fraser, The Australian

The analysis of 2359 reports broadcast on the ABC over six months before March 15 this year found 15.9 per cent of stories on coalmining and 12.1 per cent of those about coal-seam gas mining were favourable, while 53 per cent of those on renewable energy were favourable.

It also found 31.6 per cent of stories on coal mining and 43.6 per cent of stories on coal-seam gas were unfavourable, while only 10.8 per cent of stories on renewable energy were ­unfavourable.

The ABC has become its own best case for privatizing the ABC. How much could we get? The funds from its sale, and the savings of the $1.25 billion it costs annually, would help to pay down the massive debt left by the Rudd-Gillard government.  The real benefits could be much much higher. The ABC has become an advertising agency for any group dependent on public funding. Without the constant one-sided promotion of wasteful spending, Australian policy might shift towards self sufficient entrepreneurs instead of rent-seekers. How many countless billions is that worth?

The economic situation of renewables and coal is blindingly obvious:

Brown and Black coal provide electricity in Australia at less than 4c /KWhr, while Solar costs nearly 20c.  Figures thanks to Alan Moran: Submission to the Renewable Energy Target Review Panel, IPA, 2014

 

Australian energy generation, coal, oil, gas, renewables, hydro, biomass.To put a perspective on it, coal is Australia’s largest exporter industry, producing 33% of our energy and a whopping 75% of our electricity. (Wind and solar produce all of 1%.) The coal industry provides the ABC with funds, via tax, while the wind and solar industries are a net drain on the public purse. The cheapest way to reduce CO2 (and by a whopping 15%) looks like being an upgrade for our coal fired plants so they are like the hot new Chinese plants. But how important is reducing CO2 to the ABC? Apparently it’s not quite as important as cheering on other big-government babies.

We can debate the environmental pluses and minuses of coal, but the economic case is a lay down misere. Renewables are anywhere from 200% to 500% more expensive.

Here’s the ABC view of the economic contribution of coal to Australia.

Chart 4: How the ABC depicts the economic impact of the coal industry

The renewables industry on the other hand makes expensive electricity, which punishes the lower income earners and makes everything from health, to education to organic hemp hairshirts more expensive. Higher energy costs makes it harder for employers to employ people.

Because renewables are awful for the poor and reduce jobs for workers, we can expect the ABC will leave no stone unturned in accurately reporting the economic effect of renewables. Or not…

Chart 9: How the ABC depicts the economic impact of the renewable
energy industry

In a sane world we could expect a broadcaster serving the people  to relentlessly pursue poor government decisions — like, say, a plan to buy overpriced energy in the hope of changing global weather.

Here’s how the ABC portrays this pointless burden on the Australian taxpayer (the green bar represents how much the ABC promotes it, the red bar represents the value of the ABC as a watchdog on waste):

Chart 10: How the ABC depicts government programs which subsidise
renewable energy and restrict non-renewable energy

Forcing the public to fund the ABC doesn’t work

The evidence suggests the ABC serves the God of Big-Government rather than the Australian people. Here’s a radical idea — lets return some accountability and give the public a choice on funding the ABC. Then the ABC might serve the public instead of serving themselves.

James Paterson from the IPA says, in the report  Aunty Out of Control:

There’s only one way to fix the ABC, and that is by privatising it. Everything else is window dressing.

If the ABC wants to be reformed, they are doing everything in their power to make it happen.

Over 80% of the ABC staff vote green-left, as the Folker Hanusch study showed last year. Obviously that political bias does not represent Australian voters:

The only major survey of ABC staff political views, conducted by a University of Sunshine Coast academic and released in May 2013, found that 41.2 per cent said they vote Green, 32.4 per cent Labor and just 14.7 per cent for the Coalition-starkly out of step with the broader population, and much more tilted to the left than both Fairfax and News Limited. -- James Paterson Aunty Out of Control.

The bias is obvious to anyone reading alternative views on the Internet. Three times as many Australians think the ABC has a pro-Labor bias.

The coalition government can’t cut funding to the ABC, thanks to its commitments prior to the election. But surely there are alternatives. Let’s get creative: could the ABC be split into two, with half going to conservative commentators and reporters, and the other half going to the current management? It’s the stereo version: ABC-Left and ABC-Right. They could both “media-watch” each other – and may the best team win.

REFERENCES:

Public broadcaster or green activist? How the ABC spins Australias energy choices, Institute of Public Affairs, August 2014

Independent report reveals ABC biased against fossil fuels (IPA Press release)

 

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ABC bias against coal hurts the poor and the workers: Sell the ABC, 9.1 out of 10 based on 64 ratings

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

129 comments to ABC bias against coal hurts the poor and the workers: Sell the ABC

  • #
    Yonniestone

    I suppose ABC journalists can afford to help run down other Australians industries, jobs or futures as they still get paid (BY US!) so why not be so arrogant and pious with Gaia ideology?, after all high thinking educated worldly people such as these would surely have nothing but our best interests at heart. sarc/


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    thingadonta

    Virtually any time CSG and fracking is mentioned it’s about something that has to be fought against, a ‘new fight’ or whatever. It’s so blatant they don’t even bother trying to be neutral.

    Here is a typical example

    http://www.abc.net.au/environment/articles/2014/07/31/4057956.htm.

    So really the only way they can report about CSG is to have it start off as a ‘fight’. People in ‘the Kimberley’ who might be for CSG, obviously don’t count. ‘Everyone’s ABC’, or a minority activist group speaking for everyone else?

    For years people have been trying to get the ABC to acknowledge that minerals and energy, for example, are NATURAL resources. There is no ‘mining’ section in the ABC’s ‘environment’ section for example, despite minerals being naturally occurring resources and part of the environment we all live in, not to mention a major player in Australia on economic, social, and environmental levels.

    ‘Natural resource’ is defined by greens, as well as the ABC, as only those natural resources which suit their ideology, so minerals and oil and gas are not included as ‘natural resources’, despite them fully fitting the scientific definition of the term. I wonder why?

    Sometimes, when this is pointed out, they re-define ‘natural resources’ as ecological resources, but they don’t like doing this because it makes things like fisheries as bring ecological resources but which are also exploited, which they don’t like as being under the term of ‘ecological’; they only want to include things that aren’t farmed, or fished, or mined, so fish aren’t usually defined as ‘ecological’ or biological resources either. So they just keep ‘natural resource’ for a definition, but leave oil and gas under ‘energy’, and leave minerals out completely and altogether.

    It certainly isn’t ‘everyone’s ABC’ when it comes to the ‘environment’ and what constitutes ‘natural resources’.


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  • #

    I’d like to draw your attention to two of those diagrams Joanne includes here, (1) Costs of Australian Energy, the bar chart with costs per MWh, and (2) the Pie chart immediately below that, Australia’s Primary Energy Consumption.

    Note here that both of them are labelled as ….. Energy. However, one details electrical power and the second, the pie chart, overall energy consumption.

    While I understand that most of us here who contribute to, and read Joanne’s Posts, can differentiate one from the other, my guess would be that the vast bulk of the general populace would look at these 2 diagrams and relate them to one and the same thing, just plain old ….. Energy.

    That overall energy pie chart shows oil consumption, the vast bulk of this as the fuel in our vehicles. Also, Natural Gas is consumed in the wider market as well as in electrical power generation.

    That’s also why Hydro is so low here and wind and solar are also so low, well, they’re low anyway, so a point difference is negligible here.

    For an electrical power generation pie chart, I have one at this link.

    However, generally speaking here, I would say that the general populace is pretty much clueless on that very particular differentiation.

    Tony.


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    • #
      MarcusViaManchuria

      I recently spent several days trying to rebut a nonsensical claim on the Greens Facebook page.

      It stated hysterically that “renewable’ power generation has now passed the 20% mark and is streeting the field in the straight.

      Of course my generous unsolicited input was not fully appreciated, I suspect, and the abuse flowed like a Tully River flood.
      The propensity for abject ignorance knows no bounds with these sweet dear luvvies and even today I have received nasties from one or two of the brethren.
      I invite discussion and will not fade away.
      There is no battle that can be won when engaging these terminally myopic people.

      This clueless class pervades every part of our society and we are not armed to deal with it.


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    • #
      motvikten

      It is very unsatisfying to see those confusing charts here.
      Not only the electricity/energy question.
      Is it levelized costs for new plants at a certain time at today’s value of money?

      See this link:
      http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/aeo/electricity_generation.cfm

      Do you have similar info from Australia?


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      • #
        James Murphy

        Here’s some LCOE data for renewable energy in a few different countries:
        http://www.bree.gov.au/publications/asia-pacific-renewable-energy-assessment

        and for an overview of energy use in Australia:
        http://www.bree.gov.au/publications/australian-energy-statistics


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        • #
          motvikten

          Thank you very much!


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        • #
          Mark

          Well, there is half an hour I will not get back. Desktop study…read as couple of dudes trawling the internet…and…installed capacity. Discredited!

          Particularly like the issues of storage batteries when available will even out the frequency and problems caused by the grid not being adaptive enough to take advantage of when the wind actually does blow in south oz…The answer is already available and doesn’t need a leap in technology. Stored capacity is pumped water storage. Windmills convert intermittent power into potential energy of pumped water to be used at peak times as required…at normal uniflated market rates.


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      • #

        motvikten,

        thanks for providing this link to the EIA LCOE costings structure.

        LCOE cost structure – EIA

        I’m pretty sure not many people will come back to this now old Post and read this, but I thought I’d add my thanks and indicate a couple of things, and anyway, with the text of this Comment in place somewhere, I have a reference to link back to, another of those Comments here at Joanne’s site I have in my saved Comments folio.

        This is actually something I’ve been seeking to find for quite a while now, not the LCOE itself, but some accompanying text.

        LCOE costing structures are always so arbitrary, and that’s why whenever you see them, they are mostly in isolation with no real explanatory text.

        This time, at this most recent addition to the EIA site on this subject, they do offer some (relatively) comprehensive accompanying text.

        If you have the time, read it carefully, and I understand that many people not electrically trained will not understand all that much about it, and in reality, that’s what they are relying upon, because the highlight item here is the costings structure chart itself, and anyway, no one reads the text, so, in effect, they can actually hide the truth in plain sight, knowing that very very few people will understand fully what is being said here.

        Something I have been looking for for so so long now is the life span explanation, and that is written here in plain English, so, I’ll add what is written, and then explain a little. (my Bolding here)

        The LCOE values shown for each utility-scale generation technology in Table 1 and Table 2 in this discussion are calculated based on a 30-year cost recovery period…..

        This has never been set in stone like it is here before, and what it does is to make all plants equal, something they most definitely are not.

        If you can get 30 years out of a wind plant, I’ll go hee. It’s laughable. It’s often quoted that perhaps 25 years for a Wind plant might be the life span, but, in actuality, 15 years is closer to the mark, and even then, some of those towers would be lucky to last 5 years at their best rate of operation. So, to give them an overall 30 year life span with every tower running perfectly all that time is patently laughable. Then, they also quote that wind will have a LIFETIME Capacity Factor of 35% is again an absolute joke. If they get a lifetime CF of 25%, they have done extremely well. You only need one tower to fail and the CF crashes and burns, and even 25% over its lifetime is my giving them the best case scenario.

        Then, for coal fired plants, the average life span currently of EVERY coal fired power plant in the US is 48 years, and that’s just the AVERAGE.

        Note also, that Nuclear plants are also lumped in at 30 years, when, again, 50 years is the average, and given renewal, they have the capability to be in operation for anything up to 60 years and more.

        Note they also add in that absolute fake CCS, which will never be realised at all on the scale required.

        LCOE is what renewable green watermelons quote as their bible, and without even a beginners comprehension of electrical power generation, they use LCOE as their weapon of choice.

        What they don’t tell you is something they also do not understand. They just automatically think that electrical power is the same from one source to the next.

        Coal fired power, even given an equal 30 year life span as shown here, will over that 30 years actually supply almost 3 times as much power as an equal Nameplate Wind plant, or four times as much as any solar plant, and note the CF they give here for Solar PV, 25%, and in reality, it is actually 13%, with maybe 17% as the absolute best.

        This is now my reference LCOE chart of choice.

        I can tell the truth, but without this now set in stone, I have always been accused of just making it all up.

        Now I have the facts.

        So, thanks for this link, motvikten.

        While this LCOE is shown here, I urge you all to take very little faith in any LCOE chart because they will make the absolute worst case they can for any fossil fuel plant, and the best case they can for any renewable plant. They are untrustworthy no matter who puts their name to it. There are so many variables that they just cannot be used as a reliable guide, unless there is a comprehensive explanation that comes with it.

        Some of us would call what they attempt to indicate as weasel words.

        Tony.


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        • #
          CriddleDog

          Is there an Acronym page around here somewhere?


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          • #

            Sorry CriddleDog,

            I usually make the first one the full statement and then just include the acronym from then, but I forgot here.

            LCOE is the Levelised Cost Of Electricity, in other words, what they would have you believe is an equal comparison of the costs for generating electricity from differing sources.

            The EIA is the U.S. government site for all energy related matters and that stands for the Energy Information Administration.

            Sorry.

            Tony.


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            • #
              Craig Thomas

              Tony’s upset because the LCOE for Wind is now less than it is for Coal.

              The fact is, Tony, the LCOE is a reliable method for comparing costs, and you don’t get to throw it out just because it now says something you’ve spent years denying would ever happen.
              Face it: you were wrong.

              Hiding behind a word-salad of “nameplate capacity” and irrelevant comparisons doesn’t negate the economic integrity of the LCOE calculations, and if you’re going to point at areas of possible uncertainty, you might also want to consider how the rising price of oil affects coal operators; ” the inherent uncertainty about future fuel prices and future policies may cause plant owners or investors who finance plants to place a value on portfolio diversification”.


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              • #

                Oh Craig,

                you really are precious.

                You just don’t get it, do you?

                If they shorten the life of a coal fired plant, then the cost becomes more expensive.

                If they lengthen the life of a wind plant and then inflate the Capacity Factor, then it becomes cheaper.

                And still they cannot get wind power cheaper than coal fired power, even going on these figures at that EIA chart.

                Here’s an exercise for you.

                Wind plants have been around for quite some time now. Point me to one wind plant aged 30 years still running at a Capacity Factor of 35%, and before you say it’s still a new technology, large commercial scale wind generation in the U.S. started in the mid 70′s, more than 40 years back now.

                The average age of EVERY coal fired plant in the U.S. is up beyond 45 years, that’s the average age. There are currently more than 700 units older than 50 years, some up beyond 80 years old. Still selling electricity into the market. Six years ago, that average age was just a Month or so short of the 50 year mark. All those older, tiny, and most Peaking Power use plants have been replaced, in more than their totality by Natural Gas fired plants, not by wind plants, but by plants which will actually provide power when it is needed and last longer than any wind plant.

                And please explain to me how renewables (even with their inflated Capacity Factors quoted here) can provide two thirds of every Watt of power being consumed on a daily basis, and do that for the full 24 hours of every day.

                You believe whatever it is that you want to believe.

                Tony.


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              • #
                Craig Thomas

                Tony, the capacity factor for wind is *under*estimated in relation to the figures being achieved in Australia.

                Wind is indeed now cheaper than any other form of power generation, which is why South Australia, with their massive investment in wind, has seen their electricity prices drop from being the most expensive in the country just 3 years ago, to being among the least expensive. It is why electricity prices in Europe are being driven down, and it is why this is affecting even gas prices, which have fallen by 30% in Europe in recent times.

                As a consumer, I hope to see much, much more wind attached to the grid.

                As for giving coal power stations a lifetime of 30 years, I think they are being especially generous. Coal power even in this coal-rich country is in dire trouble as it quite simply is no longer competitive (hence the $100million+ subsidies it begged from Abbott’s government this year).

                http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-08-08/australia-faces-unprecedented-oversupply-of-energy-report-says/5658926

                “The principal consultant of energy strategies with Pitt and Sherry, Hugh Sadler, says the upshot is that if the coal-fired power stations want to stay running, they will be competing in a buyer’s market.
                “Many of them will have to trade unprofitably as many of them already have been doing for the last year or two,” Mr Sadler said.
                Just last week energy company HRL announced it would close a small coal-fired power station in Victoria’s La Trobe Valley.
                “It was one that was kind of earmarked for closure some three or four years ago but was propped up by some of the industry assistance measures of the previous Labor government,” the Alternative Technology Association’s Damien Moyse said.
                “Those measures have now run out and so as soon as they have that power station has found that it’s no longer economical to operate.
                “That’s really because there just isn’t the need for so much base load power at the moment,” he said.”

                Real-world events are fast superseding TOny’s obsolete understanding of the energy markets.


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              • #

                Craig,

                Wind is indeed now cheaper than any other form of power generation, which is why South Australia, with their massive investment in wind, has seen their electricity prices drop from being the most expensive in the country just 3 years ago, to being among the least expensive.

                Pick a day, any day.

                AEMO Average Daily Prices

                Tony.


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              • #

                Craig,

                As for giving coal power stations a lifetime of 30 years, I think they are being especially generous.

                Hmm!

                So, of the 22 coal fired power plants I can find here in Australia, 14 of them are older than 30 years.

                Oh, and here’s a list of all the U.S. coal fired plants by age. Your 30 years starts at 1984, so that makes 84.5% of every coal fired power plant units older than your quoted 30 years.

                Oh dear, that’s a problem!

                Perhaps you might give me a link which details coal fired power plants only have a 30 year life span at best. Surely you must have something. I mean, you wouldn’t just, umm, make that up, now would you?

                Tony.


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              • #
                PhilJourdan

                It is why electricity prices in Europe are being driven down,

                Sorry Craig, that is just not true.

                http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/statistics_explained/index.php/File:Half-yearly_electricity_and_gas_prices,_first_half_of_year,_2011%E2%80%9313_%28EUR_per_kWh%29_YB14.png

                Rates are not declining in Europe. There are many factors affecting the prices, but your statement is clearly wrong.

                And fuel prices are also not declining. But then that was a red herring to begin with as the 2 are mostly (note I said mostly) independent of each other.

                It seems you have more wishful thinking than facts.


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            • #
              CriddleDog

              Sorry Tony, that wasn’t meant as a slight against you. In fact I find your analyses interesting and cogent and they have contributed greatly to my understanding.
              About five years or so before I retired I made a decision to ignore all official correspondence as it had become impossible to understand because of the overuse of acronyms. It was a taxpayer funded job of course! At least the last few years of working became bearable after ignoring the rubbish.
              I still think an Acronym page is a good idea though.

              Cheers.


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          PhilJourdan

          Tony, you are spot on! Like you predicted, I went straight to the chart. Then I read your piece. THEN I went back and read the narrative.

          But in the age of tweets and 30 second sound bytes, the only part that will be quoted is the chart. Even then, Solar is nowhere, and wind is ok (but of course requires something that man cannot manufacture efficiently).

          Thanks.


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  • #
    King Geo

    Our “ABC/Auntie” wages a war against “cost effective fossil fuels” and goes out of its way to endorse “hopelessly uneconomic Renewables”. And we the tax payer are funding this blatantly biased “Socialist/Greenie MSM outlet” to the tune of A$1.22 billion a year. I say enough is enough – Tony sell off this blatantly socialist MSM outlet – it’s as bad if not worse than the private sector “Fairfax MSM” outlet.


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  • #

    Your logic is faulty. Just because [organisation] reports negatively on [subject] doesn’t prove they are biased against [subject]. It could just be that [subject] is bad and the reporting is fine. Most reporting on ISIS / ISIL / IS is negative; would you say that *therefore* said reporting is biased?


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    • #
      Yonniestone

      What an idiotic comparison, are you so blinded by your own bias’ that your moral compass is broken to the point of not recognizing murder as being bad?

      I’m sure members of the third Reich used similar analogies to justify appalling crimes,….jackass.


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    • #
      gnome

      If it comes to a choice between Abbott and ISIL, the ABC will find a great many good things to say about ISIL.

      Australia’s economy and energy supply depend on coal. Those are good reason why the ABC should report favourably on it. Can you think of a reason for them to support ISIL?


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    • #
      bobl

      William,
      I would suggest that you are wholly unfamiliar with the lies and leftist propaganda spewwed forth by our government broadcaster, to the point at which you are probably ill equipped to comment. Let me take a case in point ABC presenter Dr Karl who still spills the fiction that the climate warmed 0.3 degrees in the decade to 2013 based on a UK Met report when the Met actually only claimed 0.03 degrees per decade. The ABC who’s primary political talk show Q and A regularly pits 3 or 4 persons of the left against one representative of the right. The same ABC that completely failed to report on the involvement of our ex PM in a fraud back in the 90s. The same ABC that is almost completely ignoring our current royal commission into union corruption. We see it every day William there are lies and missinformation, and trust me CAGW is only the tip of ghe iceberg.


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      • #

        I am indeed unfamiliar with your curious antipodean ways. So if you want me – or indeed, anyone else not in your charmed circle – to have a clue about “Dr Karl who still spills the fiction” etc etc it would be a really great idea to provide links to where this was said, so we could all read what he actually said rather than your paraphrase.


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        • #
          bobl

          Search this site, Dr Karl’s Met booboo and 100m Williams pedophile comment are both subjects of Jo’s articles for these PC falsehoods along with a lot of good commentary. Link dredging is too hard on my tablet. While you’re at it maybe you could look at Suzuki making a fool of himself on Q & A. A classic slip-up by Q&A… who let that question in ???!!!???


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          • #

            > Link dredging is too hard on my tablet

            You can’t be bothered to find the link, in order to prove your point? Then I’m not going to spoon-feed you. If you want to make a point, its *you* who have to provide the references.


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            • #
              warcroft

              Everyone here is well aware and fully versed on the ABC bias, Dr Karl, Suzuki, Q&A, PM fraud. . .
              We don’t need to post links to references to prove ourselves to you. Its not our fault you’re not up to speed.

              You’re like a student who hasn’t done their homework but expects the rest of the class to to stop teachings while we bring you up to speed.
              No. You’ve been given a point of reference. Its up to you to go research the facts for yourself.

              Funnily enough. . . that’s exactly how most of us became skeptics. We took it upon ourselves to ask questions, do research on climate change and came to our own conclusions.
              Totally opposite to what the CAGW crowd expect. They just want people to blindly believe and follow what they say.

              Funnily enough. . . that’s just like most religions. Don’t ask questions. Just blindly believe and follow what they say.

              So, what was I getting at?
              Oh yeah. You want the truth? Then you need to go and find it for yourself. Not sit on your lazy arse and wait for someone to feed you information.


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              bobl

              Excuse, me…
              Last I looked it was you asking me to spoon feed YOU, which I don’t intend to do, type Robyn Williams, or Dr Karl into the search box.. there’s a good boy Billy…


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    • #

      William has a point. Only hard evidence can settle the bias score. Lefties accused the “Murdoch” press of bias because it was hard on the Rudd-Gillard government. Was that bias, or was the Rudd Gillard government the highest spending, most inept government Australia ever had? We could let the the record debt level (attained during a boom) speak for itself, but the $800,000 tin-sheds-for schools program also calls, not to mention deaths by pink batts, and the ministers who now face charges, or convictions…. I could go on.

      Yes William, reporting a bad thing as “bad” is not bias — that’s why I included graphs on actual costs of renewables and their contribution to our country. So show us some evidence suggesting renewables make economic sense and you’ll convince us the ABC is just doing their job. But the economic sense of buying electricity that was 500% more expensive in order to change the weather was never there.


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      • #

        > William has a point.

        Thanks. A pleasant contrast to some other knee-jerk commentators here.

        > that’s why I included graphs on actual costs of renewables… evidence suggesting renewables make economic sense…

        I’m not particularly interested in doing that. I’m not in favour of having pols second-guess tech; I’d prefer a carbon tax myself rather than subsidies for renwables (http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/2013/04/12/the-ets-is-stupid-part-n/ etc).

        However, those graphs still don’t get you your point. Because the analysis you report is “compare the ABC reporting on coal and renewables”, to use your words. Not “compare the ABC reporting on the economic viability of coal and renewables”. And its easy to see that there are a variety of things you could say about coal or renewables other than their economic viability.


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        • #

          No William. Read my post again. I showed the IPA graphs of reporting on the economics.


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          • #

            Chart 4 is about the economic reporting. That shows more favourable than unfavourable. Quite how there were so many stories painting renewables favourably economically I don’t know – but see next para.

            All of this is somewhat imaginary, though, because its obvious that the report itself is biased. From the exec summary: “The ABC has a persistent and systemic left wing bias in its coverage of contemporary Australian political issues. This report marks the first time that a comprehensive, independent and scientific assessment of ABC bias has been undertaken… The Institute of Public Affairs has long argued that the ABC presents biased coverage of key issues” So this isn’t a fair and unbiased investigation into whether the ABC is biased; it starts off from that presumption, and only investigates that.

            Ha, and “A 2004 paper found that the ABC’s coverage of the Iraq War “was negative…”. Well duh. Of course it was. The Iraq war was a disaster. Doesn’t the IPA realise that yet?


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              Tim

              “…it starts off from that presumption, and only investigates that.”

              That brings to mind the IPCC and CO2.


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                Tim> That brings to mind

                If it does, and if you’ve attacked the IPCC, then you ought to be intellectually honest enough to attack the IPA for something you believe is wrong. Oddly, I don’t see you doing that. Could it be that you’re biased?


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                Tim

                Not biased, Bill. I do not attack the IPA because I believe it was legitimately bringing to book a public funded institution that has a clear mandate to follow its Charter. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation Act requires it to be fair and unbiased.

                You still need to explain how your comment reflects on the IPCC.


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              Quite how there were so many stories painting renewables favourably economically I don’t know –

              It’s easy William, thanks to fairy economics renewables will “employ” people and “provide cheap energy”. As long as you ignore real job losses in other areas (see Hayeks broken window fallacy) anyone can pretend doing something inefficiently creates work. As for “cheap” energy, a journalist just needs to ask no hard questions about the cost of the subsidies for renewables or the extra taxes on competitors.

              I see you haven’t bothered to defend the economic arguments for renewables. Given their high cost, and non-existent benefits, all you have to do is provide links to ABC stories which asked hard questions of ministers about why they were wasting so much money and why that money wouldn’t have been better spent on health, education or medical research. See if you can find an ABC journalist who points out that if the government made cheap energy possible, in a lower tax environment, that businesses would start up and come from overseas to employ Australians.

              Your weak attack on the IPA and attempt to distract us with Iraq War irrelevancies is noted as is the lack of any substance to your response.


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                Craig Thomas

                You *could* call it “fairy economics” and accept the status quo of a coal industry that employs comparatively few and funnels profits overseas.

                Or, just maybe, you could go and find some relevant data.

                eg,
                “Onshore wind supported 8,600 jobs and was worth £548m to the UK economy in 2011, says the report, by consultancy BiGGAR Economics.”
                http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/green-living/wind-farms-have-major-economic-benefit-7718663.html

                “for every 50 MW in capacity, a wind farm delivered the following benefits:
                Direct employment of up to 48 construction workers, with each worker spending approximately $25,000 in the local area in shops, restaurants, hotels and other services – a total of up to $1.2 million
                Direct employment of around five staff – a total annual input of $125,000 spent in the local economy
                Indirect employment during the construction phase of approximately 160 people locally, 504 state jobs and 795 nationwide jobs
                Up to $250,000 per year for farmers in land rental income and $80,000 on community projects each year.”
                http://www.cleanenergycouncil.org.au/technologies/wind-energy.html

                Meanwhile, in Australia over $100million in subsidies were awarded to the coal industry just last month. But you won’t be asking any hard questions about subsidies to the coal industry, oh no…. Asking about Aussie taxpayers propping up an industry that deports its profits overseas is waaaay too hard….


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              James the Elder

              Ha!!! You are so wrong!!! The ordained one is again bombing the &hit out of Iraq. He’ll get it right.


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        bobl

        Jo, the ABC is blatantly leftist in many other ways, for example the left biased representation on insiders and Q&A, ignoring scandals on the left, eg the spot of bother Gillard is in, the RC into union corruption etc. The constant giving of free kicks to the greens. One does not need a microscope to see the bias.

        Your article was about bias, or lack of balance, it wasn’t about accuracy, as you showed you can be theoretically accurate while still being biased, this is what spin is all about. For example the amount of pro moslem propaganda including two hours of Quatari government news, compared with the complete lack of any balance on Israel, I don’t see Israel’s state broadcaster on the ABC?

        What shows the bias, is the lack of balance, the constant promotion of renewables, no mention of their hopeless inefficiency, inability to work in poor weather, bird chomping/scorching capabilities, or infrasound on their ABC. The picture is painted so rosilly for renewables (and greens) but darkly for coal ( and conservatives ), yet coal is one of our biggest products, the ABC is totally daft to destroy what is one of our biggest industries. I think it borders on treason. It’s a good thing it is failing and 58 percent or more of people don’t want “Climate action”

        Accuracy, and balance are two separate things, the ABC however are neither accurate, nor balanced on many, many topics – and for a public broadcaster that is legally required to be balanced, that’s a travesty.


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        Given that William Connelly is a serial Wikipedia censor and falsifier, why is he allowed to comment here?


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        Craig Thomas

        Well, the IMF says John Howard was the highest spending, and if you compare the amount of legislation passed and the number of pre-election promises broken, the current government is clearly the most inept.

        It appears The Australian, in telling you those lies, was indeed showing evidence of bias.


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          James Murphy

          What is your point, except to show off your pro-Labor stance? I find it strange that there were protests in the streets about the very existence of the IMF, usually by left-leaning groups, yet, strangely, these very same people now use snippets of IMF reports as ersatz evidence for whatever agenda they are pushing… hypocritical much?

          I had no idea that ‘broken promises’ were a measure of governmental ineptitude. Is this a global standard? Do you have an actual tally of all legislation submitted, and what has passed and failed? Can you provide us with a figure and a source to back up your claims?Have you any actual evidence to back up your rantings? After all, it’s the ‘deniers’ who are accused of being unscientific in their approach to life, so, presumably, as a ‘true believer’ you should show us ‘deniers’ just how scientific and rigorous you can be – or perhaps that’s too hard for you?


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      Ah. The dancing marionette is back dancing to the same old tune. It’s off key and off rhythm but it is the same old line. He misdirects, deflects, and dissembles as he always has.

      A Dancing Marionette

      He cannot resist the motion.
      His masters pull the strings.
      Without will or devotion.
      The dancing is all he brings.

      He dances into the night.
      No will to do but prancing.
      Having no thought or delight.
      A dancing marionette is dancing.


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      Peter Miller

      No matter how you cut it, it always comes down to the same thing:

      A smug liberal, utterly unaccountable, liberal ‘elite’ of champagne socialists has declared that we urgently have to do something about the non-problem of ‘global warming’.

      Their solution is to exchange cheap reliable and predictable energy for expensive unreliable and unpredictable energy. The extra cost burden of these policies to the champagne socialists is the equivalent of loose change, however to the man-in-the-street it is unwanted and totally unnecessary energy poverty.

      In climate models, the data can be manipulated/tortured to produce whatever results you want. Not surprisingly, these never reflect observational reality and always predict Thermageddon. Exactly the same occurs when costing renewable energy, you can manipulate/torture the data to get whatever result you want.

      Anyhow, the ABC and the BBC represent liberal ghettoes spewing out disinformation to dupe the gullible proletariat. The BBC has made its bias on climate into a true art form.


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    Sunray

    Thank you Jo, well spotted, and yes, sell the Fifth Column that is the ABC.


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    bobl

    The ABC can be reformed as I have frequently said with the following measures.

    1. Take away any commercial rights, EG No copyright as is befitting a public broadcaster

    2. Open up the ABC, studios, newsrooms and all other resources should be available to all including fairfax and News ltd at reasonable rates of hire. Especially the fact checking unit, any aussie should be able to have a fact checked by the fact checking unit. This would in fact generate revenue.

    3. Add complaints and truthfullness to the performance metrics by which the CEO is measured. Bind the board to sack the CEO when these metrics get bad.

    4. Set up an independent ombudsman office like the USA has, that has the power to order corrections be published, fine the ABC and order the ABC off air equivalent to all other broadcasters beholdenness to ACMA, perhaps within ACMA itself. The ombudsman’s office is to independently compile statistics on ABC truthfullness and complaints ( to be used in setting the CEOs remuneration see 3)

    5. Make the ABC legally liable for the damage its untruths cause, for example if they promote green schemes which then fail and burn people, those people should be able to sue the ABC.

    Note I have not once mentioned bias, bias I can live with, its subjecfive, but what I can’t live with are the lies and lies of omission particularly around leftist causes. If we were to get what I have written here then we could counter the bias ourselves using the ABCs own resources, their own fact checking unit could be forced to check say RSS between 2000 and 2014, the ombudsman could deal with us being equated to pedophiles by 100m williams, perhaps by ordering Williams off air until he apologises, or unsubstantiated allegations that our Navy deliberately burnt illegal imigrants. Dr Karl could be forced to admit he got the warming wrong by a factor of 10. In short we would have a way to demand justice from the ABC. Right now we have none.

    So I propose
    Complete transparency
    Better Acoountability
    More Legal liability
    Independent Checks on truth and complaints

    Nothing anyone could complain about….


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      Bobl, the thing is, I just don’t trust the ombudsman, nor the complaints unit. All these government organisations can be rendered toothless or a whitewash. And I don’t see how making the ABC legally liable will solve much if it’s only got public money to lose. Free competition is the only way to go.

      What exactly did Abbott and Hockey promise regarding the ABC? I don’t believe they ever said that management should stay 100% the same, nor that it could not be split down the middle.


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        bobl

        You miss the point, it is not the ombudsman that keeps the ABC honest, it’s us. The ombudsman represents the public, not the ABC. If the fact checking unit can be made to check the ABCs own pronouncements, with a fallback to an ombudsman where that fails, the ABC would become as wary about declaring their opinions as say Andrew Bolt is. I want ABC broadcasters in the same position as Alan Jones with respect to ACMA – they’re not. They are constantly passing off opinion as fact, and it’s that that we must stop. With these changes in place it’s up to us, right now there is no hope, since they investigate themselves and there is no penalty, no sacked CEO when they fail to tell the Truth, what is one or two porkies to such a protected group. Is Andrew Bolt or Michael Smith so protected that they can call 58% of the population “like pedophiles or rapists of women” that Robyn Williams got away with. It is possible to make these positions politically independent, it’s all about the process, for example the AEC does a good job at being independent.

        Finally with public access to the ABC they will be more exposed to the real world, the world can be sent into their ivory gower and they can be held to account for the service thay provide. We can even produce the ” The Jo Nova science show” using their facilities. (First show should be about the carbon cycle – ironically produced by the professionals at your ABC via open access)

        PS, you could get the same effect by splitting the ombudsman role. Think about it some more, the ABC needs consequences for its poor behaviour, that consequence needs to be CEO and senior staff sackings – how do you get that, by threatening funding via ombudsman fines, by ordering them off air. It works for commercial stations, it will work for the ABC.

        One last point Jo, I think we could get my suggestions actually done, there is nothing particularly controversial about more public access and accountability. I think access and oversight is politically workable.


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          Bob, forgive me for being wicked, regarding Obmusman representing the public I thought that was rather the point of our elected MPs?

          Since we can vote for them, and yet they still do a dismal job, I’m unenthused about assuming an ombudsman will achieve anything. (The Ombudsman did nothing to help the Thompsons here in WA I note).

          Which is not to say that some of your ideas aren’t an improvement on what we have, just that ultimately, I don’t trust any committee or government appointee. I don’t like the Stereo ABC idea entirely either. Who picks the Directors? I’d prefer full privatization. But if thats not the option, then at least a split is better than the 95%left 5%right version we have.

          As it happens, I think the ABC studios here in Perth are for rent, but I’d need a stack of money.

          When Robyn Williams likened us to pedophiles how much use was the ombudsman?

          (PS: I used to think the AEC did a good job, then here in WA we had to hold the whole election a second time).


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            Of course, if the ABC represents both sides of politics it won’t be bothered about a split – it would be business as usual right?


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            bobl

            The ombudsman was no use with Robyn Williams, because there isn’t one. Yes you are right our MPs represent us (supposedly, but not really until we get secret voting in parliament) however even I think direct influence of MPs in the ABC is inappropriate, and the standard approach to this problem is ombudsmen or commissions to represent the public against the corporate/government, the TIO, FSO, ASIC being examples, each of these ombudsmen can bind their industry if a consumer makes out their case. When was the last time you saw ASIC make a politicized decision?

            If the Ombudsman becomes politicized, it is a much smaller target to correct than the ABC. I also have no objection to the ombudsman governing the industry as a whole either, probably would be better than ACMA, which inherently contains conflicts of interest. Leave ACMA the mechanics (frequency allocation, spectrum, interference, rule making etc) and hand over the public interest stuff to an ombudsman.

            Re “The Jo Nova Science Show” what stack of money do you need?, I can recommend a producer, oh and a cheap Engineer as a researcher….


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          PeterS

          bobl you are missing the point. You say “… it is not the ombudsman that keeps the ABC honest, it’s us. The ombudsman represents the public, not the ABC.” Yes the ombudsman represents us the public and that’s the problem. Too many are moving over to the left as shown by recent polls. So, if the public were to be the deciding factor of what should happen to the ABC, it would be a close call with roughly half supporting it and the rest against it. It’s a catch-22 type problem. The longer the ABC maintains it’s bias towards the left, the more people will be converted to their thinking. I suggest it’s already too late. What we really need is a logical common sense solution – namely that the ABC be given the choice of getting back to its charter of balanced reporting and commentary, or be shut down. This country has no room for a publicly funded propaganda machine of either side. No need for the public and ombudsman to get involved here. It should be mandated by the government. The trouble is the current government is too weak and dumb to see this is the only real solution to the problem. Imagine what would happen when (not if) the ALP gets back in government. The ABC will get a boost in funding sealing the fate of this country.


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          Unmentionable

          One last point Jo, I think we could get my suggestions actually done, there is nothing particularly controversial about more public access and accountability. I think access and oversight is politically workable.

          This is precisely the sort of thing that does become quickly “toothless”, the political will to allow such action to be taken, like actually ordered off the air, etc., comes and goes with the wind. And the guy with that position can decide that if the political support is not there for him then he does nothing, then we’re rapidly back into unmitigated ABC warposphere.

          Full privatization is the most effective way to eliminate the blight on public discourse and policy. It costs us nothing, it ends the future outlay, and we get an asset sale revenue recovery.

          What’s not to like? Why does it have to be public-funded at all?


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        Angry

        Exactly Jo!
        The ombudsman is a Toothless Tiger.
        The abc (Australian BRAINWASHING Commission) MUST be sold outright!!


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      James Murphy

      What I don’t understand is this “fact check” thing that the ABC have. Obviously as a geologist in the oil industry, I am not qualified to comment on anything because I am too busy killing fur seals, raping the earth, and being paid a fortune in whale oil, and ivory to be a ‘denier’, but it was my impression that respectable, responsible journalists would indeed check facts such as those listed on Aunty, as part of their routine…presumably prior to publishing anything? (and I’m not even meaning to single out the ABC as such, it just seems hard to find a decent journalist anywhere these days..).

      Why has journalistic fact-checking become something of a novelty? Or, perhaps I am mistaken about: a) The type of work a ‘proper’ journalist is supposed to do, or b) The ABC having any ‘proper’ journalists left…?


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      The ABC is subject to an Act which requires them not to be biased. The answer is to take the individual presenters, the producers and the directors to court and have the individuals particularly the directors fined daily until they comply. As soon as a director is found guilty they will not be able to sit on the board. It would not take long for the organisation to come to their senses. The government could do that tomorrow except that Turnbull the minister is a supporter of the ABC because they want him as PM.
      In Queensland there is a Public Sector Ethics Act which could also catch some of the ABC and also BOM and other Quangos who advise the State government.


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    scaper...

    OT…Dr Patrick Moore will coming to Australia. Malcolm and the guys at Galileo have organised it. Going to cost a bit but I’m sure donations from the sceptical community will cover the tour.

    A meet with a certain Minister is on the agenda. Worthy of a thread when the word gets around.


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    Tim

    I have moved recently and my little transistor can only receive a clear transmission of ABC radio stations. For the last few weeks I’ve been fed wall to wall criticism of the LNP and the dastardly deeds of its members. Not a critical word about Labor, the Unions or the Greens. Funny that.

    Gotta get that iPod.


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    Glen Michel

    Rather sad that our ABC continues to assert its moral superior tone to us free thinkers… OK .. Un- brain-washed types .Honestly, I find it hard to come to terms with inflexible types;just wish that ideological considerations would take a back step.You know I’m right. Bring on the new enlightenment!


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    Ceetee

    Sell them. Use the money to pay for some hip replacements, kids dental care and maybe some scholarships for bright ambitious students. Let the minority who believe in their BS pay their wages.


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    PeterS

    Abbott is a fool. He keeps funding the ABC leftists propaganda machine with our money to vote him out. He might as well fund the ALP directly – at least it will be less brutal on his own party compared to what the ABC is doing on a daily basis. The other option is to fund a competing propaganda machine for the opposite side to provide some balance but of course he won’t because it will make him look very bad by the left.


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    DeltaCharlie

    Unfortunately, the ABC has become a fact vacuum, employing self-serving ill-informed zealots who are so full of their own importance that they wilfully contrive to contort factual information to suit their ends. These ends are:
    1. Demonstrating their remarkable intellects (mostly to themselves and other aligned minorities).
    2. Ignoring any alternative intelligence and deliberately obfuscating or misrepresenting (or not reporting) any raw data/facts as necessary in order to achieve #1 above.
    3. Treat anyone who questions anything they present with the utmost contempt (such as Q&A stacking audiences and questions) – thus complementing #1 above.
    4. Never deviate from this lest someone notice they are butt-naked and are most certainly not emperors.

    The ABC’s arrogance and contempt for >85% of Australians (the ones who don’t watch them) is mind-boggling, but predictable.

    The ABC really need to be reined in and forced to comply with their Charter with the Australian people – fast – or made to suffer as they make us suffer their fatuous burning biomass.

    IMHO…


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    ROM

    At $1.2 billion dollars a year from tax payers I reckon the ABC could afford to put solar panels on every roof of every building they occupy.

    This would allow them to demonstrate the absolute reliability and utility of renewable energy in the most public fashion possible,

    They as the national broadcaster and one of the most visible renewable energy promoting public bodies and also in their adopted role as one of the major and most vocal coal critics along with their constant denigration of the coal mining industry and coal itself as a essential product of that mining, they should be given the chance and the golden opportunity to reinforce the ABC’s point about the dangers of coal and the ability to run a major industrial sized enterprise on renewable energy alone.

    Just have the ABC in it’s totality completely disconnected and completely isolated from the coal powered electricity grid and give them the opportunity to demonstrate in a most public fashion possible, their commitment to renewable energy and their ability to continue to operate by relying solely on the output of those solar panels, that pure renewable energy which they promote so heavily and which they can have installed on their very own extensive premises.

    Solar only and no coal fired grid power allowed at all to run the entire ABC conglomerate. They will of course, also be allowed to erect a couple of renewable energy icons, those 130 metre [ 400 ft ] high wind turbines alongside of their inner city premises if they so desire and can organise the relevant back door permission through their radical leftist contacts.

    I’m sure that would be quite acceptable to any inner city ABC supporters who might find themselves living near and under those wind turbines so there should be no problems there either.

    ___________

    PS; Rates of pay will be adjusted down to and and strictly limited to fit the hours of broadcasting actually carried out using renewable energy only.

    Ahhh! Eighteen hours a day plus, ABC free!
    What bliss!

    And the bonus!
    A potential saving due to the non operating, non pay , non performing periods of the ABC of perhaps a some 800 or 900 millions of tax payer’s hard earned filthy lucre


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    Geraldo

    The ABC reporting is “biased” against pedophiles too.


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    Gee Aye

    Is there a breakdown on what the abc is reporting negatively on? How does that breakdown compare with the other graphed data?

    Is there any evidence that the ABC reported certain news presented to it and ignored other news. Ie over the study period is there an assessment of what news was incoming from sources and from press releases versus what was reported?


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      Tim

      That would be easy if a government had the cojones to do so.

      Their are specialist media monitoring companies that do just that for corporates and advertising/PR companies that need to monitor all media in order to track their exposure.


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    Andrew

    These ecoloons hate coal so much. They think it’s destroying the country.

    How big is Australia? Picture a massive open pit 1km across. Say a $1bn project.

    Now picture a million of them. A quadrillion dollars of coal mines, earning $100 tr a year – the entire world’s GDP.

    That would STILL only take up 10% of our land, and be a minor annoyance we could readily work around without affecting our lifestyle.


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      pattoh

      Conversely, if coal was not exported the BoP would blow out on iPhones, the A$ would tumble even against the low confidence US$ & interest rates would see most of western Sydney in mortgage default.

      I guess if coal was not mined, anarchy would develop even more swiftly.

      Greens=Anarchists


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    TdeF

    Just make the ABC run entirely on renewable energy.

    Why should these prophets of doom on salaries like the $700,000 pa of Mark Scott be able to live off our coal? They have $1.2Bn to spend. So what if a few of the 1,000 journalists jobs have to go to pay for the expensive electricity they have forced on everyone else? How many journalists does the ABC need anyway, given that they get so many of their stories from overseas. How much of our money goes to Al Ajazeera anyway? Why not let these overpaid public servants who are accountable to no one pay for their own wonderful green electricity from their own budget? Let them live what they preach. Of course you cannot watch the ABC at night and the hopelessly biased 7.30 report will have to be in the middle of the afternoon and suitable for children.


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    Mikky

    So its not just the BBC that acts as a propaganda outlet for renewables and the glorious campaign to promote the fight against climate change, apart from the odd diversion to support the innocent Palestinians against the evil Israelis.

    At least in the UK we can opt not to pay the license fee.


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    pat

    watched the following docu late Sunday nite on SBS; knew quite a bit about the situation before watching it, which helps. u will see from the second link i’ve posted that there is mention in the docu of cut-backs to public broadcasting in Spain & the Netherlands as well.

    VIDEO: SBS: Greece: The lost signal of democracy
    This is a fascinating examination of the events leading up to and surrounding the closure of Greek public broadcaster ERT in June… 2013.http://www.sbs.com.au/ondemand/video/312808003531/Greece-The-Lost-Signal-Of-Democracy

    9 April: FrontlineClub: The Lost Signal of Democracy
    By Frontline Bloggers
    On Monday 7 April, the Frontline Club welcomed Yorgos Avgeropoulos for the screening of his latest documentary, The Lost Signal of Democracy. The film followed the closure of ERT, Greece’s public broadcasting service, in June 2013, and tracked the progress of its staff and critics right up until the end of March 2014. The film, for Avgeropoulos, showed that:
    “Democracy is the first victim of crisis, and information the second.”…
    The film, which has been broadcasted in 18 countries, was greeted with rapturous applause and there was clearly a widespread desire to question director Avgeropoulos more closely on some of the themes within the 65-minute documentary…
    The discussion then turned to whether there is a threat to public broadcasters, not only in Greece, but across Europe in places like Spain and the Netherlands…
    http://www.frontlineclub.com/the-lost-signal-of-democracy/

    the docu does mention the poor ratings of ERT but, as with ABC staff, the ERT lot have an inflated opinion of their worth, evidenced in the title of the docu itself.

    there is no sense in taxpayers payng for Triple J (huh?), multiple ABC tv channels no-one watches, etc., in the age of the internet. for $10, a HDMI cable allows your TV to broadcast tens of thousands of interesting programs from all corners of the world 24/7. local ABC radio for emergency broadcasting in times of extreme weather events (not caused by CAGW – LOL) is all that is needed these days.


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    PhilJourdan

    Privatizing them will accomplish only one thing. Stop wasting your money. As is demonstrated in the US, it will not change their reporting. But as a private company, you can then ignore them.


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    Who would buy the ABC? China, the Jonestown church, Mexican drug lords, Isis, or the WWF.


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    Chart 11 is pretty damming too: “In Chart 11 we can see that the imbalance is also reflected in language use. Overwhelmingly stories about renewable energy made use of the language of reason and the language of pragmatism.” Its a shame you didn’t have space to mention that.

    Chart 14 also undermines your message.

    Am I the only one who actually read any of the IPA report? There is a fair sentence there, in the summary: ” The iSentia research collected in this report has shown that the ABC frames the energy industry in a consistent direction. It consistently weights environmental concerns far higher than economic concerns”


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    Roy Hogue

    Sell the ABC

    It might be wiser to disband it and start over from scratch with a non government operated broadcast service. Selling it would potentially leave many of the same people in place.

    Where is Walter Cronkite when you need him? He was as left as they come and didn’t hesitate to let it show once his broadcasting career was over, yet I watched him for years and he was as straight arrow in his reporting as The Lone Ranger was in pursuit of the bad guy. I don’t remember a single instance of Cronkite editorializing during his news broadcast, not one. And it’s their strict separation of journalism without editorial content from opinion for which I’ve developed such respect for Fox News.

    But really, call for disbanding the dysfunctional ABC organization and start over with something run from the top by someone with a Walter Cronkite attitude about reporting what’s going on.


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      PhilJourdan

      Selling it would potentially leave many of the same people in place.

      So would disbanding it and creating a private company. The only thing that would get rid of the people is a Murdoch type of entrepreneur who would create a company that is customer driven.

      We have public and private in this country and the people are interchangeable for the most part. PBS, ABC, NBC, CNN, CBS – the people are the same, the name on the paychecks change from time to time.

      The one difference is Fox. And the reason is that Murdoch is looking at the bottom line. He does not want any Rathers or Olbermans. And he does not mind liberals who are honest. But he will not pay some clown just because he speaks a line better than any other clown.

      Murdoch is a product of Oz. Perhaps it is time for him to do his work there as well.


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    James the Elder

    Does OZ have more that one network? If the ABC were to go private, with no competition, you will still have the same propaganda broadcasts unless the new owner was right leaning. The US is outnumbered 4/1 by leftist networks, and even FOX is no sure bet for a constant right leaning outlet since the Saudis bought in.


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      the Griss

      No, we have other private networks, but WE don’t have to pay for them.

      We do however, have to put up with advertising breaks on those private channels.

      I don’t watch enough TV to say if those other networks as especially biased.


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    Safetyguy66

    I used to really enjoy the morning news program on ABC TV. These days I just cant watch it. Between Virginia basically ranting her personal version of how everyone must live their lives in order to be a valid human being, to Michael standing there with his blank sheets of A4 trying to remember what hes supposed to say between giggles and daggy dad jokes, its a farce.

    In all seriousness, something needs to be done about VT, she is out of control.


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    FIN

    Great, lets sell off the ABC so we can get quality journalism from private enterprise. Let me see, oh yes, superb journalism such as Today Tonight, A Current Affair and all the commercial “news” programmes. How much better off we’d be because obviously private enterprise produces such high quality.


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      PeterS

      Converting the ABC to the likes of the current commercial channels would be a major improvement despite some of their major failings and crap quality.


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      the Griss

      At least I would not be forced to contribute to it !!

      That is what some people seem to continually forget.

      Every taxpayer contributes to the ABC regardless of whether they want to or not.

      The ABC have a charter to be NON-BIASED, but are generally a considerable distance to the left/ALP/Green on a majority of issues.

      They ARE NOT sticking to their charter, and weak governments ARE NOT forcing them to do so.


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    STJOHNOFGRAFTON

    Jo,

    Thanks for the phrase: “lay down misere”. Good journalism, to me, is journalism that introduces new terms to increase my vocabulary.


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    Grahame

    I have been involved in the exploration for oil and coal all of my working life and often become very despondent at the very biassed, often wilfully inaccurate, attacks on these industries, particularly from the ABC.
    I have always been left leaning in my political ideology and probably always will be, and am a strong believer in low level socialism. In my younger days I was involved in the usual student issues, Vietnam moratorium, environmental issues, even voted for the Greens once, believing that they were a valid alternative to the major parties.
    However, in recent decades I have become very cynical of the environmental movement and do not trust them at all. I have had personal experience of an activist telling an exploration manager that ‘he wasn’t allowed to tell lies but it was alright for her (the activist) to tell them’. I am now at the point where I would believe the information from a mining company well ahead of what the environmentalists say. The hypocrisy of the environmental movement is extraordinary.

    Environmentalists appear to be of two types, pure NIMBY’s or raving (probably somewhat juvenile) activists.
    I will defend the right of activist to raise issues and be extremist, but it seems that the extremists and radicals have gained extraordinary access to the powers that be rather than just being another minority viewpoint.

    Please forgive my ramblings but I am tired of defending my industry, even to close (green) friends.

    I am very proud of what I and my colleagues have and are achieving for Australia, and, unlike many professions, we can say we have contributed very directly to the wealth of this country, a wealth that allows the luxury of environmentalism and green follies, and an ABC.

    I once used the ABC as my source of reliable unbiased information and news, but these days I rarely watch it.
    I believe we need the ABC, but it needs to be balanced and honest, not the mouthpiece for environmental extremists.


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      Alan

      I think you have been mind reading Grahame.Sounds like a similar background and I am also tired of defending my industry and these days use a variation on that old bumper sticker and just politely tell any complainers the I don’r mind if they wish to freeze in the dark.


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        Grahame

        Thanks Alan, it does get tiring and in particular the implication that because you work in the mining industry your views must be tainted.
        I’m a scientist, I love the earth sciences. I never tire of looking at a rock face and reading it like a book, but I am constantly preached to by activists and actors and economists and psychologists and journalists etc etc., that I can’t possible know anything about the earths climate because I am not a “climate scientist”.
        If I presented a resource assessment using the quality of data that these “scientists” use I would have the authorities down on my head before I could blink.

        The thing that troubles me most about the environmental movement is the hypocrisy and the willingness to lie and distort the facts in any way possible. It’s a movement that has more in common with religious fundamentalism.


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          Alan

          The line about not being a “climate scientist” always amuses me. I actually studied earth sciences and probably a third of my studies were in areas such as oceanography,atmospheric,hydrology,coastal and marine geology, an area in which I completed my master’s. I work as a sedimentary geologist (some might say sedentary)and I always inform those interested that everytime I am examining sedimentary rocks or stratigraphic sections I am observing aspects of climate change, sometimes even weather events. Like you say the earth sciences are fascinating.


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    DonS

    How about we make ABC funding via direct subscription from the public and not from cowardly politicians worried about how the ABC would depict them if they try to cut its budget? I think most public broadcasting in the US is subscription based so it can work. Given the ABCs proven ability to run campaigns on all sorts of issues surly they can sing for their own supper, so to speak. Would love to see Jones, Trioli, O’Brian etc. rattling the tin can for their own pay.
    Mind you I think that the number of people who would voluntarily pay for an ABC subscription would be about the same number who paid extra on their airline tickets to offset their carbon footprint i.e. almost none!


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    Craig Thomas

    Your opinion carries very little weight, considering you are using Alan Moran’s ridiculously inaccurate graphs.

    Why not use a competent source for this information?


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    Craig Thomas

    http://gallery.mailchimp.com/ce17780900c3d223633ecfa59/files/Lazard_Levelized_Cost_of_Energy_v7.0.1.pdf

    Lazard (a premier global financial advisory and asset management firm that engages in investment banking, asset management, and other financial services primarily with institutional clients) also disagrees with Alan Moran (scribbler of propaganda for the IPA): according to their version 7.0 2013 study, wind is now cheaper than coal. Your mistatement that it is 200% + more expensive will need to be corrected.
    And perhaps you will discard Alan Moran in favour of reliable sources for the future?


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      the Griss

      That being the case, there is absolutely no need for a target that sets renewables, nor for any feed-in subsidies.

      We can get rid of the RET, and reduce the cost just by using economically viable unsubsidised renewables..

      right. !!!

      I wonder how much Laz makes from pushing people towards currently subsidised unreliables, and how much those people stand to lose when the subsidies are removed and the whole farce collapses.

      I hope YOU have all YOUR money invested in that area. ;-)


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        Craig Thomas

        Actually, Griss, there is.

        Clearly, renewables are bringing downward pressures to bear on electricity prices, therefore it is in the consumer’s interest for government to accelerate their adoption.

        The fact of the matter is that despite being a long-established industrym coal operators continue to receive massive government subsidies, in addition to being allowed to fully externalise the cost of emitting CO2.


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      the Griss

      Craig, I strongly recommend you READ and try to UNDERSTAND Tony’s post at #3.2.2

      Maybe then you will realise how gullible you have been. ! :-)

      If not!

      Then I dare you to try to live on just wind and solar…

      … without the RELIABILITY of coal fired energy providing BASE-LOAD electricity.


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        Craig Thomas

        Tony’s tired old views wherein he evinces support for the obsolete technologies which are unable to moderate supply in response to demand are well-known.
        He paints lipstick on the pig by calling it “baseload” and implying that “baseload” is a good thing, but the fact is this is an obsolete practice which is being discontinued by advanced economies in favour of more efficient technologies which are successfully reducing consumption, costs, and carbon emissions.


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          KinkyKeith

          First of all, there is no point in bringing down CO2 emissions.

          Secondly, electric power provided from “renewable” sources is at least double, if not treble the price of coal fired power.

          Even the green golden boy “Natural Gas” is significantly more expensive than coal fired power.

          Third. Man you have got a lot of Green Motherhood statements in that last post to the point where it could be scientifically termed

          “Waffle”.

          KK


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            Craig Thomas

            Wrong.
            Wind power now has a *lower* LCOE than coal. (Wind/solar has brought down the cost of gas in Europe by 30%, and wind is lowering the cost of electricity in South Australia).

            CO2 is now higher than it has been since the origin of our species on this planet.
            It is that high due to the activities of our species.
            Increased CO2 will continue to cause the planet to warm.

            All these are basic facts of science supported by every national scientific academy in the world.
            In opposition we have PR from the likes of Heartland denying this basic science and saying the opposite.

            If you believe the PR and reject the science, that would be an epic fail for you.


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              KinkyKeith

              High Craig.

              Like something out of the University of Skeptical Science; well written but factually flatulent.

              Get a grip man.

              Go to University and learn the basics before you make a fool of yourself.

              It’s not a good look “coming out” as a mouthpiece for the likes of the member for Goldman Sachs whose main interest in “Global Warming” is the $78 million annual commissions banks make out of “managing’ Karbon Kredits.

              KK


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    John Knowles

    The ABC would be improved with a set of science degree writers who actually understand the engineering of power supply. My father designed a wind turbine and did a feasibility study for the UK. He could also write eloquently and explain the principals of engineering to laymen. I get the impression that most journalists, not just the ABC variety, are uncomfortable with numbers and practical common sense matters.


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    John Chapman

    There is undoubtedly a need for some form of base load whether it be from coal or preferably gas or better still nuclear, but there can be a significant contribution from renewables. Cost is not the only factor. It would be cheaper to deal with sewerage by merely discharging it into the streets, but we prefer to pay more to have it dealt with less conspicuously. What price does one put on health, rising ocean acidity and the economic and environmental effects of a warming planet? A lot more than the price difference between coal and renewables I would venture to say.


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    Unmentionable

    Amen. As long as I don’t have to pay for encouraging that sort of perpetual, “the govt should do something about that”, mentality, forever seeking wasteful intrusive overbearing officious bureaucracies and intrusive meddling and promoting that infuriating high-handed socialist mentality of trivia-laced whining, which the ABC panders-to and fosters.

    I should leave this tirade for the weekend threads but ABC’s reporting yesterday that 40% of Australians no longer believe voting makes any difference and they no longer think democracy is the best form of Government ignores the under-laying message of this 40% statistic. (I just noticed the word statistic contains the word statist … whocouldaknowed?) The salient point is that 40% of Australians are approaching their wits-end due to excessive government expansion, tax, debt, police and govt spying up the whazoo and endless agency meddling, intrusions or private lives, fines, surcharges, licenses and other organized excuses to rape a wallet or bank acct. And a large part of that 40% is getting especially despondent with the infuriatingly warped tax-financed highhanded socialist propaganda-Frankenstein, called the ABC. (yup, we’re well beyond mere ambivalence kids)

    It’s no wonder they have intellectual-sewer backups in interpreting such a confronting statistical trend. The endless “they should do something about that!”, whine which continually prompts perpetual government waste and social immaturity and programmatic and legislated trenchant displays of pointless mega-stupid, must finally come to a voluntary or else financially strangled end. Else government per-sec and the ABC warptopia will continue to circle the toilet of public sentiments and civics, as the building towards a majority gets disgusted enough to take an historic stab at the socio-political ‘flush’ button.

    This statistic should make the various parliament’s the publicly-funded establishment’s blood run cold.


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