JoNova

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


Handbooks


Advertising


Australian Speakers Agency



GoldNerds

The nerds have the numbers on precious metals investments on the ASX



The Skeptics Handbook

Think it has been debunked? See here.

The Skeptics Handbook II

Climate Money Paper



Archives

$176 billion a year lost to green tape – $7000 per Australian per year

Thanks to the IPA we can see just how fast green tape multiplies. In 1971 the first environmental laws covered just 57 pages. But now there are 4669 pages of laws. The IPA estimates that costs the nation $176b a year in lost economic opportunity. That’s a lot of jobs, and a lot of trees. *Apologies $176b corrected to million.

Dennis Shanahan, The Australian

Green tape’s 80-fold explosion, costing $176b a year

That’s a curve that looks like the CO2 emissions. Does extra CO2 cause environmental laws? Could be…

Graph. IPA. Green-tape laws in Australia.

A tale of economic destruction:

The Adani central mining project application has been running for seven years and faced more than 10 court challenges. It includes a 22,000-page environmental impact statement.

In the Pilbara in Western Australia, the Roy Hill iron ore mine had to obtain 4000 separate licences, approvals and permits just for the pre-construction phase.

The Turnbull government vowed to review environmental laws to prevent activist groups’ legal challenges to development projects ranging from dams and roads to coalmines. It said challenges under section 487 of the Environment Act, which allows anyone with a “special interest in the environment” the right to challenge, were becoming more “vexatious and frivolous” . Of 32 legal challenges under the act that went to court, developers spent a cumulative 7500 days — or 20 years — in court even though 28 of the environmental cases were defeated and three required only minor technical changes to go ahead.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.5/10 (81 votes cast)
$176 billion a year lost to green tape - $7000 per Australian per year, 9.5 out of 10 based on 81 ratings

Tiny Url for this post: http://tinyurl.com/y2jwbegb

132 comments to $176 billion a year lost to green tape – $7000 per Australian per year

  • #
    Oliver K. Manuel

    Government propaganda also deprives citizens of a meaningful, joyous life of continuous discovery.

    https://jonrappoport.wordpress.com/2017/04/28/occult-systems-the-trick-behind-behind-them/

    101

    • #
      Oliver K. Manuel

      Bureaucrats and pseudo-scientists who hid Aston’s (1922) discovery of powers beyond the dreams of scientific fiction” in the rest masses of ordinary atoms after WWII now have an incurable “God-complex.”

      111

      • #
        Oliver K. Manuel

        Fifty-six years ago, in 1961, President Eisenhower warned that a scientific-technologically elitist group might take control of our public research agencies in order to take control of government policies.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GOLld5PR4ts

        That is how the US National Academy of Sciences guided US policies to support the UN’s Agenda 21.

        30

  • #
    John F. Hultquist

    This is self-inflicted wealth destruction.
    Societies need an “opportunity costs” approach.
    Move faster, do better, stop wasteful practices.

    When the global warming folks say..
    “My soul is all on fire”
    Look at them and say “You are a liar.”

    Apology to Tom T. Hall:

    Faster Horses Lyrics

    130

    • #
      Gordon

      The problem is the silent majority. We let these idiots get away with everything.

      40

    • #
      Ted O'Brien.

      John. You may not be an Australian. So I tell this.

      “Greens” have never held a really significant share of the vote in Australia. But they (and some other fringe dwellers) have often held the balance of power in one or both houses of our parliaments, where neither mainstream party a had working majority, and depended on Greens support to get legislation passed.

      With this system in play, the Greens have held power far beyond their electoral support. Neither major party has ever had the guts to tackle them head on for fear off losing to the other major party.

      140

      • #
        John F. Hultquist

        Indeed. I live in the Great State of Washington.
        Nicknamed: “The Evergreen State”
        It is also a ‘blue’ state and seemingly ever Green, and needs no help in pushing bad policies.

        However, I live on the dry side and it is noticeably not green, except in spring time.

        20

  • #
    Owen Morgan

    Here in Britain, we have only recently seen permission granted for fracking, after years of “vexatious and frivolous” opposition, encouraged by an ignorant press and indulged by chancers on local councils, more interested in photo-ops in the neighbourhood fish-wrap than in doing anything useful for the economy. (If elected in the United States, “President” Hillary Clinton would, by now, have been working to shut down the demonstrably successful American fracking industry, because, heck, those guys are way behind with their subscriptions to the Clinton Foundation.)

    321

    • #
    • #
      Ross

      Owen
      It appears some in the UK MSM are waking up to reality. An opinion in the UK Telegraph — the headline ” Brexit Britain can’t thrive without cheap energy. We need a bonfire of green regulations –CHARLES MOORE ”
      The article is behind a paywall.

      140

      • #
        Geoffrey Williams

        Well good on Charles Moore!
        GeofW

        80

      • #
      • #
        Annie

        It’s a good article by Charles Moore. I was really pleased to read it.

        30

      • #
        Owen Morgan

        It’s long past high time. My mother lives in Buckinghamshire, but, until a few years ago, she was in Cumbria. That’s not a big distance, in Australian terms, but quite a change. Where she used to complain that it never stopped raining in Cumbria (pretty nearly true), now she wishes it rained more often.

        Luckily, one thing hasn’t changed. A short walk will give her a fabulous view of the local wind farm. Back in quiet Cumbria, she experienced the constant hum of the wind farm up the valley. A couple of miles away, you can face north and count the wind turbines carpeting the Cumbrian fells, or you can turn south and just pick out Heysham nuclear power station, the other side of Morecambe Bay. I think I know which one of those energy sources is more dependable. Nuclear power itself is more expensive than it needs to be, largely for political reasons, but all those wind farms are a complete waste of money.

        In the part of England where I live, there are quite a few big arrays of solar panels. Yes, we probably get more sunlight here than they do in Cumbria, although the British summer is famous for a reason. Neither those solar panels nor the wind turbines spoiling the landscape in Cumbria, or in Scotland, or off the coast of Norfolk will ever be cost-effective. They will make money for the generating companies, until the subsidies run out, but they make no true economic sense at all.

        They mean unreliable power, ridiculously expensive and doubly so for needing to be backed up by some alternative source, to stop the lights going out. It’s insane.

        I remember seeing some television documentary that argued that it was statistically certain that the entire universe was actually some gigantic entity’s lab experiment. When I look at the idiots who have been trusted to make decisions regarding British energy generation (Blair, Brown, Miliband, Cameron, Huhne, Davey, Rudd…), I think that programme may have been on to something.

        70

  • #
    Roy Hogue

    That’s one I haven’t heard befor, green tape. I’ll have to remember it the next time I’m commenting to someone about environmental regulation.

    I wonder what it’s costing us here in the states. And frankly it’s scary to think how much money is going down the drain along with the money well spent on something actually useful — and some of it is well spent without doubt. And I lump together the maintenance of National Forests and other things we’ve been doing for years, like cleaning up landfill operations to prevent undesirable things from getting into the ground water.

    Example of the problem: My house and the whole tract sits on lake bottom clay so water soaks in only slowly and any good rain builds up puddles that hang around, sometimes a day or more depending on the storm. One Saturday morning I got up after about 12 hours of steady heavy rain and my whole back yard was a lake and within about an inch of coming up onto the patio. I had to run quickly and open the gate to relive the problem because all sorts of debris had piled up under it, blocking the water’s path to the street. Close call. The rain didn’t end for about another hour.

    It’s literally a possibility under regulations still in place for the EPA to come along and declare my yard a wetland and lock me (actually my wife who is the gardener) out of any legal possibility of so much as cutting the grass or pulling weeds from the flower beds.

    I don’t think the EPA will be quite that unreasonable but they have done some stuff of similar nature and there is no recourse. Maybe Trump… But he hasn’t yet.

    121

    • #
      Roy Hogue

      And that leads to a question. Why is a wetland intrinsically valuable? Some are and some really are not. But they get equal status as something needing to be protected.

      I think that goes for the swamp called District of Columbia that Trump has vowed to drain. Why is it valuable? All it’s been worth lately is trouble. ;-)

      152

      • #
        Yonniestone

        We had a wetland back when my city was discovered it was originally named “Black Swamp” then later “Yuille’s Swamp” until it was dredged and cleared becoming “Lake Wendouree” which is now one of the cites biggest assets for tourism, recreation, sports.

        If any green tape had existed back then then we would still be looking at a shallow pool of stagnant water full of reeds and dead trees, our council loves to tout its environmental green policies but fail to see how development can enhance a region bringing quality of life to all its inhabitants.

        151

        • #
          redress

          ” until it was dredged and cleared becoming “Lake Wendouree” “……….and made much larger than it originally was to create the rowing course for the 1956 Olympics.

          50

        • #
          Rob Leviston

          Yonniestone. A man in my own city! And what a wonderful asset Lake Wendouree is! So much better than a swamp.

          50

      • #
        Greg

        And in good old Victoria a wetland created by humans is sinful.

        30

      • #
        Hivemind

        A wetlands is a poetic way of saying stinking bog. So naturally the greenies all love it.

        10

    • #
      Spetzer86

      They could take it quite a ways. Maybe to the extent of requiring you to return your property to “original” wetland conditions: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/22/us/supreme-court-allows-lawsuit-in-epa-wetlands-case.html

      50

      • #
        Roy Hogue

        They could take it quite a ways. Maybe to the extent of requiring you to return your property to “original” wetland conditions

        I wonder how they would determine that original wetland condition, which was certainly a lake of extent unknown to me. I wonder even more how they would deal with 2 or 3 hundred angry homeowners, minimum.

        But yes, that’s the absurd length they can go to if they want.

        I believe this is the same case I read about but I’m not sure. However and in any case, it should be an easy determination made by inspection whether a wetland is in fact part of a watershed that does deserve protection. And you should be able to get that determination made up front before you sign a single piece of paper or put as much as one red cent into the purchase arrangements, not after you start to build. And that’s the the trouble with government — they either can’t or won’t tell you before anything is started, exactly what they will and will not allow… …and then stick to it because an agreement with a government agency should be the same as an agreement with anyone else. But government agencies believe they’re invinceable, unchallengeable and king of the mountain.

        They have forgotten who they work for.

        51

        • #
          Roy Hogue

          And to top it all off, there’s no good reason to believe any groundwater around here would be suitable for drinking. Too many homeowners have been putting pesticides and fertilizers on their yards for a long time. I wish that had been better controlled and managed but it happened and we now have better things available to use.

          Even watering with tap water is a problem eventually because that water contains dissolved minerals, mainly calcium and magnesium carbonate, and that stays in the soil when the water evaporates and eventually you can’t grow much in it because of the buildup of those salts.

          31

    • #
      john karajas

      Dear me, Roy, you’ve never heard of “green tape”? Thank your lucky stars, mate, if you have never had to deal with it. In the latter years of my career as an exploration geologist I was running a small publicly-listed mineral exploration company and dealing with “green tape” was one of the reasons that I was really, really glad to retire at the age of 65. The amount of bulls**** that environmental compliance requires has to be seen to be believed.

      70

      • #
        Graeme No.3

        Just before I retired we were dealing with the early attempts to control ‘pollution’. This consisted of a ‘fishing expedition’ to find out what was going on out there in industry. We were faced with a sub-committee of public servants who wanted all sorts of figures on releases of gases (including CO2), solvents, ingredients of waste water etc. The biggest problem was an arrogant middle ranker (who was working the contractor rort) who believed he knew best, when in practice he knew s.f.a. (Eventually the companies involved put in a combined complaint about him).
        One example was he wanted samples from our after-burner which took solvent fumes from the factory and exhausted them as hot gases (including CO2) up a tall metal stack. There were steps spiralling around the stack but no-one ever went up them as it was about 200℃ at the base, and the ‘sample point’ was 3 turns and about 20 metres up. He demanded (no other word described his attitude) that a series of samples be taken (hourly if I remember) to which the factory manager said “collect them yourself”.
        As for the solvent fumes he thought were somehow not going up the exhaust he wanted measurements inside the factory using a choice or 3 methods. I had to look at the cost of continuous real time GLC sampling at a minimum of 20 points – and that was the least stupid of the ways offered. Eventually an engineer constructed a huge Excel spreadsheet of 64 pages (with over 2000 rows) where formulae were spread over multiple pages and an answer appeared on the front page. Even he had trouble figuring out how it worked, if it did, but the public servants were delighted – they had figures to put into reports. Whether they were correct they had no way of telling and there was no way to debug the spreadsheet under about 2 weeks or more of solid work.
        They insisted all the companies being surveyed do like wise, which was easier for the companies when our engineer tipped them off on how to modify his.
        I haven’t mentioned the State nor the industry involved because I was told a few years ago that this B.S. was still being fed to the public servants, State and Federal as the basis for their decisions. Best to let them keep thinking that there are in control.

        90

        • #

          I haven’t mentioned the State nor the industry involved because I was told a few years ago that this B.S. was still being fed to the public servants, State and Federal as the basis for their decisions.

          I wonder just how much of this is actually going on, especially from Senior electrical engineers, who are telling politically motivated apparatchiks what they can translate into what their political puppet master string pullers want to hear.

          For the life of me I wonder how all these people get away with saying what they do, and clueless journalists just accept it as fact, without actually finding the truth of the matter.

          I fear the day that the real truth actually does come out, and just what is going to happen. There they will all be, like deer trapped in the spotlights, wondering why they were not told, and the answer will be that ….. we told you. You just didn’t want to hear it.

          The real people will write the facts, and the apparatchiks will translate that into an acceptable version for their bosses to read. The bosses know that if it all turns to bovine waste, they can l0p off the heads of those middle men directly under them, because I can assure you, those who know the truth will have covered their a$$es so well.

          Tony.

          70

        • #
          KinkyKeith

          Graeme, your comment fits very nicely with the 22,000 page environmental impact statement mentioned in Jo’s post.

          There is no way that an EIS would require more than one hundred pages so what sort of landfill is shoveled into the other 21,900.

          It would be very surprising if anyone read more than 20 pages of such a massive agglomeration of material.

          Truly, the world has gone mad.

          KK

          10

          • #
            Roy Hogue

            You guys do realize, don’t you, that those 22,000 pages were the first draft of Obamacare? Someone just recycled it somewhere else and no one noticed. ;-)

            Read it? You’ve got to be kidding me.

            20

        • #
          Ted O'Brien

          Note that that spreadsheet was a “computer model”.

          10

      • #
        Roy Hogue

        Dear me, Roy, you’ve never heard of “green tape”?

        John Karajas,

        I guess I have to plead ignorance. I’ve heard of and been through some red tape. Does that count? Every official action has to be signed in multiple copies in front of a notary public who gets to charge $10/signature and then the whole package is wrapped and bound in red tape to send off to some government office. Both the term and the rolls of red tape have been around since Adam ate the apple and then wanted special dispensation to blame Eve for it. But it didn’t work because the notary public hadn’t been invented yet. ;-)

        I’ve never been in the building trades, architecture or any of a long list of things where government gets involved but I had assumed the same thing, rolls and rolls of red tape needed before you could get anything done.

        I guess I’ll now need rolls of both red and green tape. :-(

        00

      • #

        “Green tape” is a really bad expression, I had no idea what it was supposed to mean. Fortunately, Wiktionary gave me an idea:
        green tape (uncountable):
        “(derogatory) Time-consuming bureaucratic procedures or regulations relating to environmental concerns.”

        I had a very interesting fix term position within my company. Unfortunately, I had to deal with green tape, CO2 quota regulations, in that position. I also had to deal with paranoid bureaucrats with no competence and no real understanding of the consequences of their regulation. More than that they had no respect for the unnecessary burden that they put upon workers within the field they regulated.

        When the term came to an end, and I had to quit that position, I felt that the only good thing about quitting was that I no longer had to deal with incompetent and paranoid bureaucrats.

        I think that was the time I decided that I really had to look into the basis for their regulation. I though, how could bureaucrats having so poor understanding of relatively simple things have a good understanding of the climate theory. I have always been a skeptic, but I think it is fair to say that I turned my skeptic eye on climate theory because of green tape.

        What I found was that the principles governing IPCC and United Nations were at best dubious.
        More on what I found here: https://dhf66.wordpress.com

        00

    • #
      mal

      What’s stronger than duck tape?

      Answer, it used to be Red Tape but now Green Tape wins by a country mile (Km for the younger generation).

      It can tie you up for years and sometimes there is just no escape.

      50

      • #
        Roy Hogue

        One day I found the usual duct tape on the shelf in a big discount retail store — you’ll be able to guess the name I expect. It was the regular duct tape in every respect but the label on the wrapper called it Duck Tape.

        I think this proves that if you say something over and over for long enough it becomes fact, much like climate change. ;-)

        Just thought you’d like to know there really is Duck Tape out there.

        00

  • #
    diogenese2

    Ahem! Small arithmetical discrepancy.

    “$176b a year lost to green tape, $7k per Australian”

    “Dennis Shanahan, The Australian

    Green tape’s 80-fold explosion, costing $176m a year

    $166b/ $1410 = 12% of GDP!”

    If correct this is *4.5 the budget deficit.
    If only we in the UK were so lucky.

    81

    • #

      No-one seems to think that matters.

      11

    • #
      Ted O'Brien.

      Something amiss there with the billions and millions. However my intuition approves the 12% of GDP figure, and it is probable that this assessment does not include a lot of stuff that I would.

      20

      • #

        Ted, you are so right. It is indeed $176 million, as the headline said above from The Australian all along. I’ve corrected my headline/ text. Darn.

        :-( — Jo

        I am very distracted at the moment with other non-climate issues. Almost doing another full time project. I look forward to being able to write during normal hours again sometime soon, but it may be a few weeks before I can.

        50

        • #
          Ted O'Brien

          Sorry, Jo. My Oz, delivered Saturday morn, says billions.

          00

          • #
            lewispbuckingham

            So does mine, on page 2 ‘Analysis by the IPA has shown that red tape costs $176 bn in foregone economic output,’ Mr Breheny said.
            I stopped reading after that.
            My own POV is that Westpac is interested in its 60% mortgage holders and has not the capital to put into a big mining project, nor with its gearing can it afford the risk.
            So it uses Green Credentials to cover its weakness.
            There will be no problem for Adani to use Chinese,South Korean and Japanese banks to do the job.

            10

  • #
    LOL in Oregon

    As the goberment workers know
    …see Wall Street Journal yesterday on “Boom Town”
    “Once hired, can’t be fired”
    with great, more than competitive benefits.

    So, if you can get a job with the goberment:
    ….do it today!

    00

  • #
    Radical Rodent

    Were I running one of these wealth-creating businesses, I would be sorely tempted to just shut down operations, retire the workforce, and settle down to a quiet life, elsewhere. I would also encourage others to do the same – it would be interesting to find what the professionally-offended could protest about, next; what excuses the politicians would try to churn out; what people would do as society crumbles around them. It would be an interesting experiment, as people find out that the industries that they are so willing to vilify are actually so much of a necessity to maintain the life that they are so accustomed to.

    171

    • #
      Yonniestone

      Industry in Australia has been decimated due to all government getting way too big inflicting overbearing bureaucracy on any that tries to do business in this country, combined with open boarders styled trade policies its little wonder confidence in growth is cynical at best.

      If as you suggested occurred I would guess a series of retirement taxes and levies would be imposed on them until death until assets grabbed by retired death taxes dries up then those that are easily offended are absorbed into whatever totalitarian system evolved during the era of whinging and doing SFA.

      72

  • #
    tom0mason

    If only IPA referred to beer, Indian Pale Ale instead of Institute of Public Affairs

    70

  • #
    Leonard Lane

    There should be a legal remedy to this. However when the court is considering taking a case, if I want to have my voice heard I need to have “legal standing” (which shouldn’t, but can mean anything depending on the political party and views of the judge). The need for “standing” is often used to prevent citizens from being heard.
    How is it that anyone can sue a mine or other development, all these people can join the suit? It seems that if your views are radical green/left you automatically have standing. The procedures of this bias in including/excluding needs to be addressed by Congress to correct this unfair bias.

    100

  • #
    TdeF

    This is an indirect cost. The farce of governments demanding more gas while State governments refuse to allow even exploration is incredible.

    However the possibly illegal RET still takes billions in cash from ordinary Australians and gifts it to power companies and individuals for nothing.

    The 2016 report of the Clean Energy Regulator is here

    Windmills and hydro
    “In 2015–16 we validated 15 949 840 large-scale generation certificates. This reflects 15 949 840 megawatt hours of additional electricity generated by accredited renewable energy power stations.”

    Solar panels
    “Small-scale technology certificates: A total of 15 358 292 small-scale technology certificates (STCs) were registered in 2015–16. ”

    At $85 a MWhr this is $1,355,736,400 or $1.355 Bn for windmill operators and $1,305,454,820 for solar panel operators.
    Total $2.66Bn in cash in 2015/2016

    This is a totally hidden payment in all electricity bills for the right to buy gas or coal electricity.

    This is not payment for electricity but a legally mandated cash payment to windmills and solar power producers.

    For wind, it is a cash grant for power produced but to buy the power, merely for the fact of production.
    In the case of solar this is a cash payment for nothing at all. It is calculated on the amount power produced over the next 15 years, power for which you may have to pay again. The users get the ‘free’ power for which you paid and income for ‘free’ power they not use and which you probably cannot use either.

    In both cases when and if power is produced, you will have to pay again.

    For these billions a year, you the electricity buyer own nothing. It is not a tax. The wind producer owns the wind farm for which
    you paid. The private solar panel customer owns the solar panels for which you paid.
    Both will charge you again for the power they produce.

    I believe this is beyond the right of any government to legislate. Governments can raise tax which they can spend in the business of running governments or providing a service like police, education, electricity. They cannot force you to pay third parties so they can own equipment and businesses and also force you to buy from them. Having deliberately avoided both the words ‘tax’ and ‘carbon’, our Federal government has introduced by far the world’s biggest carbon tax, calculated at $200/tonne for natural gas.

    This needs to be challenged in the High Court. Magna Carta was driven by wrongful taxation. People under kings could see the point in pay for the cost of war, but could not see the need to just hand over cash to King John just to enrich individuals. It is still true. This huge private Green cash grab must stop.

    This is quite apart from the fact that windmills and solar panels are absolutely useless in providing for our basic requirements for electricity. Taxation must under the constitution go into General Revenue. This is not taxation.

    Our government does not have the right to force us to pay for other people’s private property, to enrich others and for no benefit to ourselves, even to our own great harm.

    252

    • #
      TdeF

      Consider that Gillard’s appalling and ultimately useless Pink Batts Green scheme directly cost this country $2.45Bn and lives and half as much again in damage, repairs and rework. This was your taxes at work, gifting insulation to individuals who could not justify buying it for themselves. At least that gift was within the rights of a government.

      However we are now paying as much the Pink Batts every year to enrich windmill companies and home solar panel recipients and this is not even a tax! It is totally hidden from you and responsible for the the shutting down of Australia’s cheap, reliable power, replacing it with private windmills at our expense.

      The Coalition should be yelling about unfair taxation. Labor should be yelling about massive private benefit and hidden taxation. No one is saying a thing and our PM is pretending it does not exist, that it is all the fault of unscrupulous energy providers and the failure of the market.

      Remove the RET and the price of electricity would drop x3. Remember that this markup is only what is paid by the electricity companies. This is not what you pay. As in all business, this is doubled. You pay $5Bn a year. For nothing and enrich others.

      182

      • #
        TdeF

        In round figures, your electricity provider pays 4c kw/hr for coal electricity, a ‘non elegible’ producer of electricity under the RET.
        So you have to pay 9c kw/hr for a certificate. His outgoings in cash are 13c.

        In business you double this and hope to make a profit, so companies would charge 26c to 40c, depending on competition and what people are prepared to pay. Of this 18c to 26c is directly attributable to the RET.

        Then the coal and gas producer cannot compete. The windmills take the cream of the market and you do not get this huge markup. Windmill operators can sell at many times your price and still get business. So you close, exactly as was intended by this Greenest of Acts.

        Now no one wants gas or coal power and you cannot get paid fairly for the gas, so you sell it overseas while Australians are paying the world’s highest prices for electricity.

        Can’t Malcolm Turnbull see the problem is Malcolm Turnbull? He is blaming the gas and coal producers who have invested so heavily in Australia. Both he and Shorten will drive them out of the country, leaving us reliant on absurd windmills. Even the solar panels will stop working then the electricity stops. Do we have to have National blackouts next summer for someone to ask a question in Parliament?

        Please bring back Tony Abbott. This is destroying our energy security, crippling our lives and jobs and turning us into a third world country, exactly as the Greens like Malcolm Turnbull intended. The world’s biggest Green tax.

        182

      • #
        TdeF

        Lost opportunity is one thing and the spin off from the investments of others.
        I would estimate the current cost for this non tax is $5Bn a year or $200 in cash per individual per year or annual
        $1000 per Australian family in cash payments to strangers to make them richer, so they can sell their ‘Green’ energy to us.

        Socially, while there is a non tax threshold of $18,000 and perhaps 80% of Australians do not pay nett tax, this is
        a huge and unavoidable tax on every Australian individual and family with no compensation for the poorer. It is against
        every principle of social justice and even capitalism. It is wrong, unjust and unfair. It is against the principles of every
        political party. The silence is deafening. The RET is the problem.

        150

      • #
        Hivemind

        “Gillard’s appalling and ultimately useless Pink Batts Green scheme”

        No, that was Krudd’s scheme. Remember, the one he got an aging and irrelevant rock star to run.

        10

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      TdeF:

      The problem was aired nearly 60 years ago by C. Northcote Parkinson in his book The Law and the Profits. That is that the government first decides how much it wants to spend, then secondly how to get the money. Had they directly subsidised the (expensive unreliables)** then the sums would have appeared in the Budget and been the obvious target for continuous debate, so the RET is a way of getting money from the general public to pay for one of their projects. Similarly the NBN is “off-budget”.
      To get their wish list they receive help from the ‘public service’ who decide how much they want for their department. You would have to search with a microscope for any instance where they asked for less, as more money would mean more public servants to check the money is properly spent (box checking) which in turn means higher grades and salaries etc. for those calculating the department budget. And it should be pointed out that for many years anything not spent at the end of the financial year was liable to be directed elsewhere and the ‘frugal’ department penalised by getting less money in the next year. Hardly a recipe for controlling expenditure.
      The suggestion was that for proper control is for the Government as the first thing to decide what is the level of expenditure that the country can afford. No government has seen fit to introduce that in the last 60 years so the other ‘remedy’ seen by Parkinson was for the economy to collapse under a huge weight of debt. A modern example would be Greece.
      I cannot see any way out for Australia; note that the talk of ‘balancing the budget’ refers to some time in the future, after the present lot have retired, and is based on getting more taxes out of a booming economy. Since the effect in the medium term of the RET will be depression of the economy there is little hope of anything but rising debt, taxes, and a collapse.

      ** refers to what is sometimes called renewables.

      70

      • #
        TdeF

        “Similarly the NBN is “off-budget”

        No, not my understanding. The NBN is paid by taxpayer money. Windmills are not. The NBN is off budget because it is considered a secure public investment which is owned by the state (that’s you) and which will eventually be able to repay the cost of building. This is very different.

        At lot of public works are like that, simply not shown in the budget of income and expenditure because it is not considered a yearly expense but a sort of long term deposit which will be repaid by government charges on public use. This is similar to building a power station or a railway or a freeway.

        The windmill payments are not a government tax. It is also not government money and the money received never goes near the government.
        The payments are between the parties who sell and buy LGCs and STCs with real money, your money and this is supervised by the government who never touch the money.

        So you are paying someone else directly with your money to their advantage because a third party wants more windmills without having to raise a tax or call it a carbon tax. Secondly you get to own the NBN bought with your money. You never own the windmills or the solar panels. They are owned by the recipient of your money. You will be charged for using them.

        50

        • #
          TdeF

          One of my problems with the non tax windmill charge is that you have taxation without representation. The government is not responsible for the price of the STCs and LGCs. They are a decision by people whom you did not elect. So as they have rocketed from $20 to $90 for 1Mwhr you are feeling the huge impost as this is doubled by the fact that it is at the wholesale level.

          So you pay 18c per kw/hr for the right to use the electricity from public power stations which you paid to be built. This money goes to strangers who are not the government to build their own power stations and force you to buy their power at whatever they nominate, which will climb rapidly as cheap coal power stations close.

          That was the plan to destroy manufacturing and industry and coal and gas in Australia. It is a plan which is working beautifully, especially as most Australians are unaware of it. They think the electricity people are ripping them off! About $3Billion of this cash goes overseas every year. Lucky us.

          50

        • #
          TdeF

          One of the serious problems with the NBN is that the charges required to repay the perhaps $60Bn Stephen Conroy has spent will never be recovered by reasonsable charges. People will just refuse or at least try to refuse. At some stage a government has to have the courage to admit this. No government wants to do it, so it will probably be wrapped up in a never ever loan like the $100Bn for the four desalination plants and endlessly extended. A bit like a teenager spending tens of billions on a credit card. Just never tell anyone. Even without this, the Federal government is borrowing $1Billion a week overseas. Unbelievable.

          40

          • #

            There was an old saying ….. if you owe the bank a million, you’re in trouble. If you owe the bank a Billion. the Bank’s in trouble.

            Tony.

            40

          • #
            Ted O'Brien.

            TdeF. The NBN is just a tool in a much bigger play, to bust the capitalist system. I will copy below a page I have written on the matter, Jo may or may not deem it relevant here.

            30

            • #
              Ted O'Brien.

              The whole truth was ever too long a story. Few have the patience to tell it. None the patience to hear it. But this is what I saw from the back blocks.

              The NBN is part of a much bigger scheme that has been ongoing for many years. I’ll nominate a date during the term, at the election of the Hawke/Keating government, and start a very brief summary from there.

              1. The Hawke government deregulated the banks.
              2. The Hawke government vigorously promoted abuse of that deregulation. The promotion was bizarre, extending to such things as public vilification of critics, notably Nobby Clark, who refused to join his NAB to their road to ruin. It continued even as Bond was doing the things that landed him in gaol a decade later. (After Michael Milken in the US had been charged, convicted, gaoled and served his term!)
              3. Every prudent businessman knew that what was being done must lead to a bust. Yet three of our Big Four banks joined the party.
              4. In 1987 the Marxists got their bust. Just as a developer buys a building and demolishes it to build another, their plan is to destroy the capitalist system to replace it with another of their choosing. While in 1987 expectations were high that we would return to 1930, the Marxists were outsmarted. The people on top of the pile could still remember the 1930s. There is but little fun to be had on top of a pile that is flat. So instead of extracting every pound of flesh, they took losses sufficient to ensure that the pile did not collapse, leaving them still on top and the Marxists still on the outer.
              5. Having failed to gain control in 1987, the Marxists took to running up public debt. Public debt must be funded by private capital. Public debt is private capital already spent outside of private management.
              6. The first major economic announcement by the Rudd1 government was that: “Howard has let the inflation genie out of the bottle”. AThis was a bare faced lie. So what’s the real story? It has to be that the new government intends to engage in inflationary policy and blame the inflation on Howard. They intended to go on a spending spree, to promote public debt. And they started doing this, but then came the GFC, which enabled them to double their splurge.
              7. All of this got overtaken by a phenomenal boom in mining. So we have not yet seen the disruption that their mad spending would otherwise have brought us.
              8. Which brings us to the NBN, a very different business, with the same objective.

              The NBN is a massive project. It was foisted on our construction sector at a time when the sector was fully employed servicing the mining boom. And the NBN was set up ostensibly to provide a service that was already being developed in the so called free market.

              Competing in this marketplace for resources, the NBN is maximising not only its own costs, but also the costs of every other construction job being undertaken in Australia.

              I put it to you that this was the primary objective of the Rudd/Gillard government when the NBN was established. To further destroy private capital. This is why no cost/benefit analysis was ever undertaken.

              There is a sufficient number of bizarre features about the NBN to support this assessment. e.g. To set up a massive publicly owned corporation to operate in the same space as another massive publicly owned corporation which they had been trying for twenty years to sell off and had sold off almost half was downright evil.

              40

  • #

    I simply wonder if anyone could possibly read and digest a 22,000 page environmental impact statement, let alone fully assess every aspect that it covers. To do that would require a significant team, a team that is well versed in the issues. Exactly where do these people come from?

    90

    • #
      Another Ian

      I doubt that “obstructionism” worries itself about

      “let alone fully assess every aspect that it covers”

      50

    • #
      James Murphy

      Presumably this would be done by the same consultants who wrote it, or at least the same consultancy firm.

      Nice double-dipping if you can swing it.

      10

  • #
    TdeF

    The underlying problem is that Malcolm’s Liberals represent no one. As Tony Abbott said with the destruction of his Direct Action program, since when does the Liberal party dump its own policy and adopt Green policy?

    Andrew Bolt is now quoting Geoffrey Greene who was Liberal Party state director in both South Australia and Queensland.

    In his words “The Turnbull government is at war with the people. This is a government which hates their own constituents.

    There is only one Green in the democratically elected House of Representatives, one from 200, the avowed communist Adam Bandt.

    However Green Turnbull, the man who crossed the floor against his own PM on carbon tax, is getting his Green way.

    It was a Coalition government which introduced the RET in 2000. It is a Coalition government in NSW which is banning gas and coal. It is a Labor government in SA and Victoria which are banning everything from logging to gas exploration and tripling taxes on the coal on which the state runs.

    Now Turnbull is blaming the very investors in energy regardless of sovereign risk and the loss of investment, ignoring the Liberal party and its supporters who are ‘deplorables’ and ‘deluded’. His assault on investment in Australia is a double whammy coupled with Green lawfare. Who benefits from this? Does super rich Turnbull really care as long as the Greens say he is wonderful, even if no one votes for him?

    All for political power, self aggrandisement and d*mn the people. This cannot stand.

    170

    • #
      el gordo

      At least the Nats are still up to speed.

      ‘Barnaby Joyce has been called “irresponsible” by one of Australia’s most senior conservationists after the Deputy Prime Minister dismissed wetlands adjoining Adani’s Abbot Point coal port as little more than a “duck-shooting pond”.

      SMH

      131

    • #
      el gordo

      Last year Chris Bowen referred to Malcolm Turnbull as a Marxist living in a $50 million mansion on the harbour. He was referring to Groucho Marx: “Those are my principles and if you don’t like them … well, I have others.”

      But if you look at the PM’s recent effort to force the multinationals to give the Australian people a plentiful supply of cheaper gas, then our supreme leader is closer to Karl Marx.

      100

  • #
    Yonniestone

    We have a great local charity that gives 100% to those that really need it, for the past year they have been trying to get another two vehicles on the road to help more over a larger area, everything has been done to ensure success, registrations, roadworthy, food handling certificates/licences, police checks, working with children etc etc….

    BUT it hasn’t occurred because A: the council denies there’s any homeless in Ballarat and B: the exhaustive Red and Green tape imposed on any activity regarding public movement, personally I think this is exactly what bureaucracy was designed for to protect the political interests of those that wish to take and not give, sometimes I don’t recognise my country anymore.

    90

  • #
    A C Osborn

    The headline says $176B/Year but the chart heading says $176M/Year.

    So which is it Billions or Millions?

    —-
    Email sent. It’s “millions” as per The Australian. Thanks, fixed. My apologies. – Jo

    50

  • #
    Hat Rack

    Years ago, my wife and I had an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) done for a Development Application (DA) to put a second modest dwelling on a 70 acre property which we owned with our son and his family. Whilst most of the 10 page report was meaningless dribble, I will never forget two things:-

    1.) The words “….evidence to suggest there may be…..” glider possums which had, to the best of knowledge of every local elder asked, never been seen within a bulls roar of the district (note: I have since seen that exact wording in other totally unrelated EIS’s)

    2.) The $5,000 bill

    Ironically, some years later, within 10 metres of the boundary fence, the adjoining neighbour was legally allowed to knock over 5 or 6 of the “significant species” box trees which the supposed gliders supposedly preferred.

    If we had decided to proceed with the DA we still had to obtain reports from an Aboriginal authority and the Fire Brigade. Some times some things just aren’t worth it and the project was abandoned. All up, over $10,000 down the dunny and not even a peg in the ground!

    Based on our experience the IPA estimates would not be too far off the mark.

    30

  • #
    TdeF

    My point is that lost output, turnover is not seen by Australians as a problem. It can be turned into jobs and that has meaning but we have high employment, thanks to massive overstaffing of the public service, notably in Brisbane, Adelaide, Hobart, Darwin and of course Canberra. The last has the highest wages in the country, while producing nothign.

    However the RET is straight out of everyone’s pocket. It forced Hazelwood to close despite the fact that it was able to produce as much electricity as when it opened, and forced the owners to write off a $4Bn investment including a $1Bn operation to tidy the place.

    We, the victims are now expecting a 25% increase in electricity prices. For what? If it wasn’t for Australia’s largely temperate climate, poor people would be freezing to death because they cannot afford power. In summer people will not be able to turn on their airconditioners as power bills skyrocket and blackouts sweep the grid.

    So by Green tape, Green lawfare and Green laws brought in by the major parties to please the Green senate, we are strangling ourselves. Now would someone please explain why? How much has the CO2 level gone down, or did we just pass 0.04% anyway and even faster than expected? These Green destruction of our country has to stop. It is communism pretending to be ecology.

    Now our ultra Green PM says he will start passing laws controlling distribution and pricing to fix a problem for which he is responsible. Who needs communists in government when you have Turnbull’s Liberals?

    130

  • #
    David Maddison

    A friend of mine is a funeral director and occasionally gets asked to do a burial at sea. Before he can do this he has to acquire from the government a “dumping permit”.

    40

    • #
      Angry

      No doubt the “government” makes a pretty penny from this extortion racket….
      Disgusting !

      31

      • #
        David Maddison

        Yes, it costs about $1,000 plus lits of paperwork. And that’s for a disposal beyond the 12nm territorial limit.

        00

  • #
    pat

    as A C Osborn writes, comment #13 is it 176bn or mn?

    29 Apr: Bloomberg: Top Trump Aides Clash on Legal Risks of Paris Climate Accord
    by Jennifer A. Dlouhy & Ari Natter
    Senior advisers to Donald Trump were divided over the Paris climate accord in a meeting Thursday, as Cabinet members and staffers considered whether staying in the pact could legally jeopardize the president’s regulatory rollbacks, according to people familiar with the high-level gathering…

    A draft three-page internal State Department memo circulated in advance of the meeting said the accord imposes few obligations on the U.S., noting that “legal obligations are relatively few and are generally process-oriented.”
    That was one area of common ground Thursday, according to people familiar with the meeting, who asked not to be identified because it was an internal discussion. They described an emerging consensus that the current U.S. pledge is not sustainable — regardless of whether the U.S. formally extricates itself from the accord.

    The top-level officials also seemed to agree that there is no legal mechanism for the United Nations to punish the U.S. for flouting its commitment.
    But there are potential domestic legal implications of staying in the deal anyway, representatives from the White House counsel’s office told the group. There is some risk that if the U.S. stays in the agreement and doesn’t take actions to cut emissions, it could surface in legal challenges to Trump’s moves to roll back environmental regulations, they said.

    Bannon, the White House chief strategist who has argued Trump should fulfill his campaign promise to abandon the accord, pressed Pruitt to explain how efforts to undo Obama’s Clean Power Plan — another Trump campaign promise — could be jeopardized by remaining in the deal, according to the people…

    Supporters of sticking with the accord have argued that U.S. exports, including sales of liquefied natural gas, could be jeopardized if the country ditches the deal…

    But opponents argue that Trump promised to exit, and if the U.S. is abandoning its efforts to cut emissions it should also abandon this pact, too.
    “Those who argue for us to remain in the agreement are essentially arguing for us to become (officially) liars,” Mike McKenna, a Republican energy lobbyist, said in an email.
    https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2017-04-28/top-trump-aides-divided-on-paris-climate-pact-as-decision-nears

    31

  • #

    With respect to the Adani coal mine in CQ, note that yesterday, Westpac bank came out and said that they would not fund the Carmichael coal mine.

    Of note here is that Adani has never even sought a loan from Westpac for the mine specifically, even though Westpac gave loans for the loader at Abbott Point.

    Hmm! Why doesn’t Westpace have the strength of conviction to be fair dinkum about it, and just ask Adani to pay back that coal loader loan in full, so they can get out of coal, like they say they are.

    It seems it’s okay to say that they will not loan money that was never even asked for in the first place, but still make horrendous amounts of money on the loan for the coal loader itself.

    It’s all in the seeming.

    The Queensland Government (Labor) are crying out for the jobs which will be created, and the huge royalties resulting from the coal mined there, so if Adani fails to materialise, then this Labor government has a bottom line now considerably less, and in the same breath, as with all Labor, they rail against coal.

    It seems that hypocrisy knows no bounds.

    It’s all in the seeming I guess.

    Of note in that statement from Westpac, I see some commentators have noted the following:

    The policy will not satisfy conservationists opposed to any new lending for coal-fired power.

    It leaves the door open to funding for so-called “ultra-supercritical” coal-fired power stations that operate at higher temperatures and produce fewer carbon emissions than conventional power stations.

    Maybe some clouds do have silver linings.

    Tony.

    81

    • #
      el gordo

      Beijing has given Turnbull the green light, probably in fear of the ultra supercritical Japanese HELE becoming alll the vogue down under. Realpolitik.

      ‘The Turnbull government has had a significant win for the ­future of investment in modern coal-fired power stations in Asia and Australian exports by ­getting the $100 billion Asian ­Infrastructure Investment Bank to drop its ban on financing coal-powered electricity generators.

      ‘As Malcolm Turnbull, Scott Morrison, Josh Frydenberg, Matt Canavan and Arthur Sinodinos spearhead a Coalition drive to secure reliable low-cost energy in Australia and protect coal and gas export earnings, the federal government has convinced the China-sponsored AIIB to curtail its “socially ­acceptable” policy of not lending money to build gas- or coal-fired power stations in Asia.’

      Oz

      20

  • #
    pat

    some of the fun at Harvard’s Climate Week.
    ***shouldn’t the first quote of McCarthy’s be causing OUTRAGE on social media?

    28 Apr: Harvard Gazette: Alvin Powell: Fighting words from former EPA leader
    McCarthy urges scientists to raise their voices on climate change
    Speaking at Harvard this week, former EPA administrator Gina McCarthy urged an audience of climate scientists and health experts to stop sulking over the Trump administration’s anti-climate-science stance, to get to work, and to speak out.

    ***“Get the mopes off your faces and pull up your big-boy pants,” she said…

    “Your only way of not being political is to get in the fray because what these bills do is make your world political,” McCarthy said, urging scientists to talk in their role “as a public citizen who is well informed.”
    “Talk, as one human being to another, about what the science tells you and what you want to have done to protect your children and your children’s future,” McCarthy said. “If it’s important to you, it should be important to the person next to you who doesn’t know what you know.”…

    President Drew Faust offered introductory remarks, calling skepticism about science in Washington, D.C., “unfounded” and “unwarranted.”
    “This permeates public discourse across our country,” Faust said. “Research that is essential to national and human progress is under assault, and the expansion and perpetuation of knowledge, for the first time in my lifetime, seems to be something that none of us can take for granted.”…

    The president’s executive orders will have little effect on environmental rules that have been finalized, McCarthy said, as undoing those rules is as time-consuming as proposing them. In addition, she said, regulations that have been supported by sound science in the rule-making process can’t be undone without opposing science — and, if presented, that science will have to be explained in court.
    “I know what it takes to put those rules together. They ain’t got it,” McCarthy said. “We have not lost, they have just set a stage for a battle in a different location.”…
    http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2017/04/mccarthy-urges-scientists-to-raise-their-voices-on-climate-change/

    21

  • #
    pat

    28 Apr: ABC America: Experts: Long road ahead for Trump offshore drilling order
    By Jason Dearen and Jill Colvin
    The day before his 100th in office, Trump took his step Friday toward dismantling a key part of Barack Obama’s environmental legacy.
    “This executive order starts the process of opening offshore areas to job-creating energy exploration,” Trump said at a White House ceremony. “It reverses the previous administration’s Arctic leasing ban and directs Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to allow responsible development of off-shore areas that will bring revenue to our treasury and jobs to our workers.”…

    “It’s not quite as simple as the president signs something and it undoes the past,” said Sean Hecht, a University of California, Los Angeles environmental law professor…

    Legal experts say the law has never been used by a president to remove protections, just to create them.
    “The statute doesn’t allow that. It allows the president to put land within a protected zone but says nothing about allowing president to take it out,” said Rob Verchick, an environmental law professor at Loyola University in New Orleans.
    Verchick, a policy administrator at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under Obama, added: “I suspect it will be fought in the courts.”…

    The administration can redo the 5-year-plan, but it’s a long process. Zinke said the leases scheduled under the existing plan will remain in effect during the review, which he estimated will take several years before any new leases are possible…

    Pam Giblin, an Austin, Texas-based environmental attorney who represents energy companies: “Every one of these orders is primarily aspirational. But it is starting to change the lens through which government is talking about fossil fuels,” Giblin said. “Instead of demonizing fossil fuels, it’s a viable alternative that’s not going away.”…READ ALL
    http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/trump-seeks-expand-drilling-arctic-atlantic-oceans-47076567

    21

    • #
      TdeF

      “It allows the president to put land within a protected zone but says nothing about allowing president to take it out”

      Only a lawyer would argue that. The presumption that you can undo what you have done is common to all human activity. You can legislate anything and remove that legislation. Not have a provision which allows you to remove from a register what you have put on a register is absurd. Otherwise every law in the land would be twice as long but arguing about silly points is what lawyers do, as long as someone is paying.

      40

      • #
        Yonniestone

        Laws should reflect the values of a good constitution where they can be changed to suit a developing society, the Founding Fathers wouldn’t have dreamt of massive electrical generation or motorised transport but the fundamentals of democracy gives the majority a power to alter for the greater good.

        10

        • #
          TdeF

          Yes, but the primary democracy, England does not have a constitution. It is not a republic. While Australia has a constitution, it is still the body of parliament made law, judge made law and common law precedent which drives our courts. The High court is ultimately a brake on parliament, or politicians would run riot.

          I believe the RET, proposed by Howard in 1997 and made law in 2000 has been modified and modified to the point where it is out of control. I also believe it is fundamentally flawed and possibly illegal and unprecedented. It is not a tax but you have to pay anyway and it is not a service the government provides. Forcing the public to pay strangers for things they do not need is wrong.

          For all the thousands of Green cases, perhaps just one in the High Court to challenge the RET? Lawfare is unfortunately the tool of rich Greens who use it to frustrate the wishes of the majority. I am still hoping the Malcolm Roberts raises this in the Senate and he could bring a case using the power of the Senate and the funding. It is a simple question. Is the RET legal? Is it unprecedented? Is it within the power of the Australian government or any government to order one person to pay another for something they do not want or already own, such as power from a coal power station?

          20

  • #
    pat

    meanwhile, “climate leader” Norway!

    25 Apr: Reuters: UPDATE 2-Norway doubles Barents Sea oil and gas estimate, alarms green lobby
    By Nerijus Adomaitis and Alister Doyle
    Norway’s portion of the Barents Sea could contain twice as much undiscovered oil and gas as previously thought when a newly mapped area bordering Russia is included, raising the prospect of drilling in environmentally sensitive ice-covered waters…

    The Norwegian Barents Sea could hold 2.8 billion standard cubic meters (scm) oil equivalent (17.6 billion barrels), including 1.4 billion smc to the southeast of the Svalbard archipelago, the country’s oil regulator said on Tuesday.
    While the area to the east of Svalbard evaluated by the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) is covered by ice for much of the year, according to satellite data, the extent of sea ice is retreating northwards because of global warming…

    “This would be like burning money,” Nils Harley Boisen of conservation group WWF said…
    Greenpeace said the NPD’s decision to publish estimates for the areas further to the north undermined a long-standing political agreement not to drill in ice-covered waters and put pressure on Oslo to open the area to oil companies.
    “This is a clear pressure from the oil industry to open new exploration areas to keep employment, ignoring concerns about environment and profitability,” Truls Gulowsen, head of Greenpeace Norway, told Reuters…

    The Norwegian Oil and Gas association, an industry lobby, however, said the new estimates increased confidence about future activity in the Arctic, which could benefit local communities and add jobs.
    While exploration has taken place in some parts of the Barents Sea for more than 30 years, only the Goliat oilfield and the Snoehvit natural gas field have so far begun production.
    The NPD said separately it expected a record number of exploration wells to be drilled in the Barents Sea this year.
    http://uk.reuters.com/article/norway-oil-arctic-idUKL8N1HX1QR

    24 Apr: Reuters: Norway’s Statoil plays down risks ahead of Arctic drilling
    By Nerijus Adomaitis
    Despite opposition from environmentalists, the company plans to drill five wells in the Norwegian sector of the Barents Sea, including Korpfjell, which will be the world’s northernmost well and in a formerly disputed border area with Russia…

    All the wells are in areas free of sea ice thanks to the warm Gulf Stream, with sea and wind conditions similar to the North Sea, and some 400 km (250 miles) away from the “ice edge zone” – where at least 10 percent of the sea is covered by ice.
    “All wells will be drilled so far south of the existing ice that in the event of any spillage, no oil would never reach the marginal ice zone,” Statoil said…

    Greenpeace, which is taking the Norwegian government to court over Arctic drilling plans, said any permanent oil platforms in the region would be particularly risky…
    “Statoil should not drill in the Barents Sea because of the pending legal case, because of environmental risk and because the world doesn’t need more oil,” he said.
    Statoil said the statistical probability of a blow-out, an uncontrolled oil spill from a well, was 0.014 percent – or one for every 7,100 exploration wells…
    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-statoil-exploration-arctic-idUSKBN17Q1K8

    31

    • #
      TdeF

      Rich and comfortable environmentalists want the world to run out of fossil fuels, no matter how much suffering is caused. We have that in Australia. The South Australia is a study in how to ruin the state to achieve nothing at all in CO2 levels, just because some people think it is a good idea for reasons they cannot explain. If you cannot lower CO2 or even stop the steady rise, why punish the world? As they sit in their living rooms reading by candle light in winter, they can thank their Premier and Energy Minister.

      60

  • #
    pat

    26 Apr: Politico: Eric Wolff: Trump’s already making his mark on climate
    His policies mean the U.S. could release billions more tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere in the coming decades compared with what Barack Obama envisioned.
    “This is an experiment we can only run once, and then it’s too late,” said Princeton University climate scientist Michael Oppenheimer. “We were in a lot of trouble with climate change already. This only makes it more risky. It’s hard to quantify how much it matters, but it makes attainment of a difficult-to-achieve target more or less impossible.”…

    Instead of falling, Rhodium’s projection estimated that Trump’s policies, if fully implemented, will cause U.S. carbon pollution to continue more or less at current levels. That means that by 2025, according to POLITICO’s analysis, the U.S. would be pumping 900 more megatons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere each year than under Obama’s most ambitious target.
    That extra U.S. carbon would exceed the annual output of Germany, one of the world’s top greenhouse gas polluters. That would be enough to increase the world’s annual carbon emissions by almost 2 percent, Pennsylvania State University climate scientist Michael Mann said — at a time when climate researchers say the world urgently needs to accelerate its cuts…

    Through 2030, the cumulative gap between the Trump and Obama policies could exceed 4 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide, based on Rhodium’s estimates.
    In other words, Trump’s domestic actions on energy would be his real contribution to global climate policy — a fact obscured by the noisy political fight on whether the U.S. should withdraw from Paris. The figures don’t even account for the possibility that a U.S. retreat on climate efforts would cause other major polluters, such as China and India, to pull back on their commitments(???)…

    Rhodium’s partners include Trevor Houser, who was a top outside adviser to the Clinton campaign on energy issues…

    Still, some advocates for deep cuts in carbon emissions, such as Mann, hold out hope that Obama’s policies will prove difficult to uproot. They’re counting on the courts and resistant federal staffers to stall Trump’s plans.
    “Bureaucracy can be both a good and bad thing, depending on the circumstances,” Mann said in an email. “In this case, I think it may save us.
    “Were Democrats to win back one or both houses of Congress in the mid-terms less than two years away, I think that much of the damage could almost certainly be mitigated,” he added…
    http://www.politico.com/story/2017/04/26/trumps-climate-change-237611

    21

    • #
      TdeF

      Oppenheimer joined the Princeton faculty after more than two decades with The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), a non-governmental, environmental organization, where he served as chief scientist and manager of the Climate and Air Program. He continues to serve as a science advisor to EDF.

      What puzzles me is his belief that CO2 stays in the air indefintely, or in the ocean. The fish would want to disagree. The exchange between air and sea is massive and rapid, turning over half the CO2 every 14 years.

      “Dr. Oppenheimer served as Atomic and Molecular Astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and Lecturer on Astronomy at Harvard University. He received an S.B. in chemistry from M.I.T., a Ph.D. in chemical physics from the University of Chicago, and pursued post-doctoral research at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.”

      You would think he would look into the basic physical chemistry of gaseous exchange. Or does he have another agenda?

      30

  • #
    pat

    27 Apr: Politico: Trump advisers want a better deal on Paris
    By Andrew Restuccia and Josh Dawsey
    But those who attended the meeting said there is a growing consensus among the advisers that the United States can’t stay in the deal unless it negotiates new terms.
    While it would be difficult, if not impossible, to renegotiate the Paris deal that won the backing of nearly 200 nations in 2015, Trump administration officials are increasingly discussing leveraging the uncertainty over the U.S. position to boost the White House’s policy priorities in future discussions.

    If the administration can’t extract new benefits for the U.S., Trump is willing to pull out of the deal altogether, officials said.
    “We’re trying to decide whether we are going to stay and make changes or leave. But we’re not going to just stay,” one official said…
    http://www.politico.com/story/2017/04/27/trump-advisers-paris-climate-deal-237717

    28 Apr: Politico: Offshore drilling executive order arrives today
    By Anthony Adragna With help from Esther Whieldon and Bernie Becker
    The eastern portion of the Gulf of Mexico, which Floridians have long protected as vital the the state’s huge tourist industry, will not be included. And while Pacific waters were not formally excluded from review, Zinke noted Californians had curbed offshore drilling along its coast. Says a source at one major oil company of the Golden State’s coast: “I wouldn’t say it’s sacred ground. It’s more like exhaustive ground.”…

    Expect a protracted fight: The order is going to trigger a flurry of lawsuits from the environmental community and the biggest fight might be over any effort to undo Obama’s use of a little-known provision in the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act of 1953 that permanently placed much of the Chukchi and Beaufort seas north of Alaska and several portions of the Atlantic coast off limits, Ben reports (LINK).

    But it’s not just environmentalists: Resort owners, restaurateurs, fisheries and anyone with an economic interest on keeping the coast clear of oil rigs will likely to oppose those rollbacks as well. “He’ll see a big backlash from the business community,” Oceana Senior Vice President for U.S. Oceans Jackie Savitz…
    http://www.politico.com/tipsheets/morning-energy/2017/04/offshore-drilling-executive-order-arrives-today-220027

    11

  • #
    David Maddison

    I’m in the People’s Republik of South Australia right now which is a plastic bag (and electricity) free state. It is so primitive having to purchase plastic bags if you go shopping or bring your own or manually carry your items. In Victoriastan we still have plastic bags although the Left are trying to do away with them. I reuse my bags as garbage bin liners or return them to the supermarket bag recycling bin. In SA they have to buy bin liners so nothing is saved, it’s just that your expenses have increased.

    71

    • #
      Yonniestone

      But remember plastic bags make unicorns cry.

      20

      • #
        TdeF

        How do you know that? I had a unicorn once. Never went shopping with it. Can you have two unicorns, or is that a contradiction? Or a cow.

        20

    • #

      Deficit of tech,
      surfeit of guilt.

      10

    • #
      Mark M

      The Productivity Commission found that policies outlawing plastic bags were not justifiable on both economic and environmental grounds. T
      he PC also caught environmental groups exaggerating the damage caused by bags (perhaps not surprisingly).
      See p.203 of their report:
      http://www.pc.gov.au/inquiries/completed/waste/report

      30

    • #
      Ian Hill

      I like it when people mention the fact that South Australia is now “plastic bag free”!

      My sister, Sandra Kanahs, was instrumental in achieving this law in SA and I am very proud of her for it. She won some environmental awards in the 1990s. This article tells the story on the first day the law came into effect, 4th May 2009, coincidentally our mother’s birthday.

      http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2009/05/04/2559781.htm

      By the way, Sandra is also a climate sceptic. :)

      20

      • #
        Mark M

        SA plastic bag free?

        Perhaps they take the M&Ms out of the plastic bag before they leave the shop.

        http://www.tiendeo.com.au/Catalogues/adelaide-SA/190700?view=result&buscar=Woolworths&pos=1&refPageType=OFFERS&pagina=1

        10

        • #
          Ian Hill

          Yes I know, but I was deliberately using David’s phrase. At the time I wondered about all the other plastic bags needed to put fruit, bread rolls etc in. They are still available. The law only applies to plastic bags which used to be provided at the checkout. That was what drove my sister batty when she started her program at Millicent Foodland about 25 years ago. Now there are NOT more than two billion such bags deposited in rubbish tips in SA each year.

          This time last year I was in Boston, USA and once when visiting a 7/11 store late at night I was approached by the store manager who asked me if I intended to pay for all the items I was placing in my cloth shopping bag as I walked around the aisles. Taken aback slightly, using my best Aussie accent I said this is how we do it back home and he said “I’ve had heard that”!

          20

          • #
            David Maddison

            Your sister was welcome to stop using plastic bags herself. She had no moral right to
            impose this huge inconvenience on others.

            Same applies to any individual that wants to stop using fossil fuels. They are welcome to do so themselves but have no moral right to impose this huge inconvenience on others.

            10

            • #
              Ian Hill

              David, Welcome to South Australia!

              Many new laws are for the benefit of the community, eg compulsory use of bicycle helmets, reduction of speed limits from 60 kph to 50 or 40 on secondary roads and quiet suburban streets, compulsory 10c deposit on drink containers which attract the GST. Someone originally began campaigning for these laws. Did they also have no moral right to do that?

              Sandra started her project before anyone had heard of Al Gore. If you read the linked article you will see that mum made over 800 cloth bags with her sewing machine for people to use. She wasn’t paid anything. All the family used them and they were distributed to participating stores for people to use. In the early days my sister was written off as a “crackpot” but she perservered. It took over a decade for parliament to be convinced that it had merit and became law. It’s no *huge* inconvenience at all, just a little adjustment. No-one is asking for the law to be repealed.

              I agree with your sentiments on fossil fuel whingers and the like.

              00

  • #
    pat

    26 Apr: World Economic Forum: The ethics of solar panels: do the ends justify the means?
    by Jon Major, Research Fellow, Stephenson Institute for Renewable Energy, University of Liverpool
    This article is pubished in collaboration with The Conversation
    Scientists have just discovered massive amounts of a rare metal called tellurium, a key element in cutting-edge solar technology. As a solar expert who specialises in exactly this, I should be delighted. But here’s the catch: the deposit is found at the bottom of the sea, in an undisturbed part of the ocean…

    Is deep sea mining worth the risk?
    However the mere presence of such resources, or the wind turbines or electric car batteries that rely on scarce materials or risky industrial processes, raises an interesting question. These are useful low-carbon technologies, but do they also have a requirement to be environmentally ethical?
    There is often the perception that everyone working in renewable energy is a lovely tree-hugging, sandal-wearing leftie, but this isn’t the case. After all, this is now a huge industry, one that is aiming to eventually supplant fossil fuels, and there are valid concerns over whether such expansion will be accompanied by a softening of regulations.

    We know that solar power is ultimately a good thing, but do the ends always justify the means? Or, to put it more starkly: could we tolerate mass production of solar panels if it necessitated mining and drilling on a similar scale to the fossil fuels industry, along with the associated pitfalls?
    To my mind the answer is undoubtedly yes, we have little choice. After all, mass solar would still wipe out our carbon emissions, helping curb global warming and the associated apocalypse…

    At some point mining operations in search of solar or wind materials will cause damage or else some industrial production process will go awry and cause contamination. This may be the Faustian pact we have to accept, as the established alternatives are far worse. Unfortunately nothing is perfect.
    https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2017/04/the-ethics-of-solar-panels-do-the-ends-justify-the-means

    11 Apr: BBC: David Shukman: Renewables’ deep-sea mining conundrum
    Samples brought back to the surface contain the scarce substance tellurium in concentrations 50,000 times higher than in deposits on land…
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-39347620

    22

  • #

    We know that solar power is ultimately a good thing, but do the ends always justify the means? Or, to put it more starkly: could we tolerate mass production of solar panels if it necessitated mining and drilling on a similar scale to the fossil fuels industry, along with the associated pitfalls?
    To my mind the answer is undoubtedly yes, we have little choice. After all, mass solar would still wipe out our carbon emissions, helping curb global warming and the associated apocalypse…

    Umm, as long as they only dig it up by hand that is!

    Tony.

    61

  • #
    pat

    multiple links. “climate scientists” “angered scientists” – hyperbole, what?

    27 Apr: Desmog: Graham Readfearn: ***Climate Scientists Cancelling Their New York Times Subscription Over Hiring of Climate Denialist Bret Stephens
    A New York Times defence of its hiring of a climate science denialist as a leading columnist is pushing high-profile climate scientists to cancel their subscriptions.
    Professor Stefan Rahmstorf, of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impacts Research in Germany, is the latest scientist to write publicly to the New York Times detailing his reasons for cancelling their subscriptions.
    The NYT has hired former Wall Street Journal columnist Bret Stephens as a writer and deputy editorial page editor.
    Stephens wrote several columns while at the WSJ disparaging climate science and climate scientists, which he has collectively described as a “religion” while claiming rising temeperatures may be natural.
    The NYT has been defending its decision publicly, saying that “millions of people” agree with Stephens on climate science and just because their readers don’t like his opinions, that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be heard.
    But the NYT defence has ***angered scientists…
    In his letter, published in full below, Rahmstorf accused the NYT of “unbearable hypocrisy” for its hiring of Stephens while running a marketing campaign based on “truth”…

    Stephens has also been defending his position, telling Vox that he was “not a climate denier” but he still had doubts about whether a warming trend would continue.

    After learning of the hiring of Stephens, climate scientist Professor Michael Mann, of Penn State University, had initially given the New York Times some breathing space.
    But he later took to Twitter to say that the NYT’s subsequent defence of the controversial hire had pushed him to cancel his subscription.
    “The @NYTimes hiring of climate denier didn’t lead me to cancel subscription. Public editor’s offensive response did,” wrote Mann…
    https://www.desmogblog.com/2017/04/27/another-leading-climate-scientist-cancels-new-york-times-over-hrting-climate-denialist-bret-stephens

    00

  • #
    pat

    how many subscriptions has Nature lost due to its CAGW advocacy?

    28 Apr: Nature: Political swings and roundabouts
    With a politically tumultuous spring and the window on keeping global average temperatures below 2 °C above preindustrial levels closing, environmental advocacy perhaps has a more important role now than ever before.
    The HONEST Act “requires that [the] EPA base its regulations and assessments on the ‘best available science’ that is publicly available in a manner sufficient for independent analysis and scientific replication”…

    Perhaps the bigger question mark hovering over the act is what would qualify as replication. Many datasets are essentially not reproducible in practice: consider satellite data for a given period, or experiments over extended periods of time that are financially and logistically prohibitive to repeat. So perhaps only the data analysis must be replicated — but then to what degree of similarity must the findings correspond? Indeed, politically controversial findings that have repeatedly passed the test of replication, and moreover verification using alternative methods, have remained contested at a political level: the ‘hockey stick’ graph — showing how high recent temperatures are compared with the past 2,000 years — is perhaps an exemplar.

    Clearly there is no simple catch-all answer for what represents scientific replication, particularly as science in general is going through something of a crisis about the rate of reproducibility of published papers (see for example ref. 6). Such ambiguities would seem to leave the door open to delay and debate over any new environmental legislation in the US, something that is particularly challenging in a political environment starting from the presumption that less environmental legislation is better…

    With these various political landslips intruding into climate policy and its implementation at such a critical juncture for climate mitigation efforts, the environment has probably never been more in need of championing even if we need to think carefully about how that is done (see for example our January editorial)…

    Environmental advocacy and education at this politically tumultuous time is certainly needed to keep the climate and environment front and centre in the minds of the public and their politicians.
    http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v7/n5/full/nclimate3294.html?WT.ec_id=NCLIMATE-201705&spMailingID=53950284&spUserID=OTM5Nzg3ODc0NjcS1&spJobID=1144733188&spReportId=MTE0NDczMzE4OAS2

    00

  • #
    pat

    27 Apr: UK Telegraph: Jillian Ambrose: Saudi Aramco boss insists oil demand will grow for ‘the foreseeable future’
    The world’s largest oil company has rubbished fears that a shift to low carbon sources could mean over a trillion dollars worth of oil assets are left abandoned ahead of the planned market float of Saudi Aramco next year.
    Amin Nasser, the head of Saudi Arabia’s state energy giant, told a Paris conference that global demand for oil will continue to grow for the foreseeable future because the transition to new energy technologies, including renewables, will be “long and complex”.
    “Oil demand will continue to grow in absolute terms at fairly healthy levels for the foreseeable future. It is why I believe ‘peak oil demand’ is not in sight for at least the next few decades. It is also why the notion of ‘stranded resources’ is not one I recognise,” he said…

    Saudi Arabia produces around one in every nine barrels of oil produced globally and has proven reserves of 261.1 billion barrels of oil, as well as 297.6 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves…

    Mr Nasser said while the short-term market points to a surplus of oil, the supplies required for the years ahead are falling behind substantially because long-term investments are not being made.
    “This presents a grave and growing threat to world energy security,” Mr Nasser said…
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2017/04/27/saudi-aramco-boss-insists-oil-demand-will-grow-foreseeable-future/

    28 Apr: HellenicShippingNews: Bloomberg: Saudi Aramco CEO Says Peak Oil Demand Is a Misleading Theory
    “The global economy is forecast to double in size by 2050” so overall demand for energy will be higher, Saudi Arabian Oil Co. Chief Executive Officer Amin Nasser said at the International Oil Summit in Paris. The idea that oil demand is close to its maximum level is “equally as misleading” as now-discredited theories about peak oil supply, he said…
    Nasser also has plenty of influential voices supporting his argument. The International Energy Agency, which advises developed economies on energy policy, doesn’t anticipate any peak in oil demand before 2040. Exxon Mobil Corp., the world’s largest oil company by market value, agrees that crude will remain the most important fuel for decades…

    28 Apr: Petroleum World: Reuters: Total could consider participation in Saudi Aramco IPO – CEO
    French oil and gas major Total could consider taking a stake in the planned listing of part of Saudi Arabia’s Aramco, the company’s chief executive said on Thursday…
    “It is not clear today how they want to do the IPO,” said Pouyanne, who added: “I’m sure that it would be a good investment…because Saudi Aramco has a real business case.”…

    00

  • #
    pat

    28 Apr: Guardian: Ketan Joshi: For a horrible glimpse into Australia’s dark future, look to Trump’s views on coal
    (Ketan Joshi is a freelance communications consultant for the renewable energy industry. Previous clients include government, NGO and media. He blogs on renewable and climate issues)
    Renewable energy has broad bipartisan support. The shutdown of coal is a different story. There are no popular solutions for the ugly end of climate action. Can we thread a needle through the ever-shifting ethical challenges of surgically removing a technology that still forms a major part of our society?
    The recent shutdown of the Hazelwood coal-fired power station isn’t Australia’s first coal closure, but the event activated the denial of coal’s inevitable demise in those tasked with forward thinking. This pattern of denial is a haunting forecast of what we’ll see when the closure of coal intensifies in Australia.
    Coal’s destiny isn’t a secret. The European Union has pledged no new coal plants after 2020.

    ***China and India have seen a pointed decline in coal growth…

    Hazelwood’s contribution to total emissions was far greater than its contribution to generation of electrical power, but most discourse focused on the stability of the grid rather than emissions reductions…
    There is really only one way out of this: ditch the denials, accept reality, and make a serious plan for the inevitable demise of coal.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/apr/28/for-a-horrible-glimpse-into-australias-dark-future-look-to-trumps-views-on-coal

    ***what world does Ketan live in?

    KetanJoshiWebsite: I did a science degree at Sydney University, and since I was a teenager I’ve loved science, technology, philosophy and psychology. I worked in the renewable energy industry for six years, doing operational monitoring, data analysis, community engagement and corporate communications.
    My passion is communicating complex, technical concepts in highly accessible ways; seeking to entertain and educate, rather than patronise or over-simplify…
    I also write at Medium, The Monthly, The Guardian, Gizmodo, Business Spectator, Eco-Generation Magazine, The Wheeler Centre, New Matilda, Crikey, Eureka Street, SBS, InDaily, The Huffington Post and Renew Economy. I’ve also done radio and writing for the ABC , here, here, here, here and here…

    LinkedIn: Ketan Joshi
    Analytics and Communications Specialist
    Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA)
    May 2016 – April 2017 …
    Research and Communications Officer
    Infigen Energy
    February 2013 – February 2016
    promoting Infigen and the renewable energy industry to communities in which Infigen operates, the media, industry and government…

    10

  • #
    pat

    small, but another one bites the dust:

    28 Apr: PV-Mag: Frank Endorka: BREAKING: HelioPower files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy
    The case, filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Nevada, shows the California installer has liabilities of up to $10 million, owed to up to 5,000 creditors.
    California solar installer HelioPower filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Nevada on Wednesday…
    https://pv-magazine-usa.com/2017/04/28/breaking-heliopower-files-for-chapter-11-bankruptcy/

    27 Apr: Houston Chronicle: David Hunn: BP finds trove of oil in Gulf of Mexico using new subsea imaging
    The find, worth a potential $2 billion in recoverable oil, is in an undrilled section of BP’s Atlantis field in 7,000 feet of water 150 miles from New Orleans…
    The Gulf find is another example of oil companies advancing technology to make unexpected discoveries…
    Now, BP’s imaging advance could save drillers hundreds of millions of dollars in false starts and dry wells, and perhaps more important, prevent them from passing up billions of dollars in oil hidden within reach of existing platforms and pipelines…

    Imaging under salt formations is a “holy grail,” said Ed Hirs, an energy fellow at the University of Houston and managing director of a small oil exploration and production company. “That’s really pretty big.”…
    “It produced the best image of the field we’ve ever seen,” said Etgen, the project’s principal researcher. “We basically fell out of our chairs.”…
    But BP has already declared its new technology so successful, it is expanding the program into oil and gas fields worldwide, expecting to find hidden pockets of oil repeatedly. BP, which plans to announce the discovery on Thursday, is making a play to be a leader in the field and perhaps even market and sell some of the technology…
    http://www.houstonchronicle.com/business/energy/article/BP-finds-hidden-trove-of-oil-in-Gulf-of-Mexico-11103164.php?t=04b6683148

    10

  • #
    pat

    Ireland:

    29 Apr: IrishIndependent: High court judge rejects windfarm application appeal
    The dispute arose over planning permission for a six-turbine windfarm and other developments in the townlands of Derragh, Rathgaskig and Ballingeary.
    The concerns raised by the local residents range from the environmental impact of the development to the noise of the turbines…

    Scotland:

    28 Apr: CarrickHerald: Pippa Smith: Wind farm application sent to Scottish Government for further discussion
    AN APPLICATION for 22 wind turbines in Barrhill has been sent to the Scottish Government for further discussion.
    The information that was presented at last week’s Planning Panel was to construct and operate an 80WM windfarm, 5.5km south-west of Barrhill, holding a height, almost, of 150m.
    Noise was the main focus of the previous rejections…ETC
    Council candidate Bill Grant, said: “I am very worried about this proposal because South Carrick has an absolute mass of turbines now and this area is one of the few open spaces left.
    Candidate Hugh Hunter said: “I agree with my colleague, the whole landscape is changing. It is not the natural look of the landscape and I don’t think this area is set out to have that on it.
    “It is very disappointing and I am very concerned with what is happening to our landscape and now this is going to be a distinctive feature on our landscapes.”
    Ian Douglas concluded: “I agree as well, I think this is all going a bit too far with the building of wind turbines in this part of the country.”

    Wales:

    27 Apr: BBC: Llandegley beauty spot wind farm rejected by Powys council
    Hendy Wind Farm Ltd said its proposal to build seven turbines at Llandegley near Llandrindod Wells had the support of land owners.
    The planning committee was recommended to approve it on Thursday, but voted to refuse permission.
    Campaigners had said the plans could deter tourists visiting the area.
    Four of the turbines would have been built on a protected public right of way, according to preservation body the Open Spaces Society…
    Ahead of the meeting Kate Ashbrook, general secretary of the Open Spaces Society, called the development “damaging”.
    “People visit the area because of its natural beauty, peace and tranquillity,” she said…

    30

    • #
      TdeF

      Windmills will be the monoliths of the nanolithic era at the end of the first industrial age and will be places of worship by people who try to imagine the mystic rites of the shamanistic people known as Greens for reasons unfathomable as forests were cut down to build the windmills. Did they really worship the Windmills or were they pointers to outerspace? Were they monuments for the dead as there are so many? Were they simply objects of worship arranged in henges as art or to signal aliens? There is an idea it may have been part of wind and sun and water worship which has persisted from the neolithic. All history says is that they were universally useless

      60

  • #
    pat

    re Hendy Wind Farm (BBC article)

    27 Apr: BreconRadnorExpress: Plan for Radnorshire wind farm rejected
    Hendy Wind Farm Limited was seeking planning permission for seven turbines with blades reaching 110 metres high…
    The council had received 186 letters of objection from members of the public and six letters supporting it…

    England:

    28 Apr: LancashireTelegraph: Joy as Hoddlesden Moss wind turbines plan withdrawn at 11th hour
    CAMPAIGNERS are celebrating after a controversial plan for three new wind turbines was withdrawn a day before a final decision was due.
    Applicant Viridis Wind Turbines wanted to erect the 77-metre high structures on Hoddlesden Moss…
    However the plan, which had attracted almost 1,400 objections, was withdrawn from the planning process.
    Planners had received 904 letters and a 387 signature petition against the plan as well as 556 letters of support.

    Scotland:

    24 Apr: BBC: Grantshouse wind turbine proposal rejected
    Plans for an eight-turbine wind farm in eastern Berwickshire have been rejected by members of Scottish Borders Council’s planning committee.
    LE 20 Ltd wanted to erect eight 100-metre-high turbines on land north of Howpark Farmhouse near Grantshouse.
    Officials had recommended approval, but there were a number of objections to the scheme.
    Councillors turned down the application claiming the area was already “saturated” with turbines.

    Ireland:

    27 Apr: KCLR96: Locals reject windfarm on Kilkenny-Laois border
    Pinewood Wind Limited had applied to build 11 wind turbines across an area of land in Laois and in the townland of Crutt outside Castlecomer…
    Castlecomer councillor, John Brennan, was one of those who objected to the plans.
    He told KCLR news that one of the main objections was that turbines would be a blight on that landscape and would also impact on those with houses nearby…

    20

  • #
    Angry

    Checkout this unbelievable crap from the csiro and this marxist outfit “Energy Networks Australia”.

    Future energy: CSIRO gallops to the rescue…………..

    http://morningmail.org/future-energy-csiro-gallops-rescue/#more-59852

    God help us !!

    41

    • #
      TdeF

      Carbon price? Low carbon existence? We are carbon lifeforms! Our whole world revolves around Carbon and Carbon dioxide and they want to have a minimum carbon existence? 98% of all the CO2 is in the oceans anyway. Perhaps they could point to some positive benefit for Australia or Europe and America for the 250, 000 winmills and the $1.5Trillion a year. Or have the windmills caused the pause without changing CO2?

      Unless I misread, the CO2 just passed 0.04% anyway and ahead of predictions. Is there no discernible effect from 250,000 windmills, or don’t they make a jot of difference. So what exactly was the point of building all those windmills? Masochism?
      Or is someone getting very rich from making all this up?

      10

      • #
        TdeF

        “send the signals needed to drive a smooth shift to a reliable, low-cost and low-carbon energy.”

        What a load of unmentionables. Is that what South Australia has now? Low-cost? Reliable? Smooth? How much has the CO2 gone down in South Australia. This excerable waffle is unbelievable.

        20

        • #
          Annie

          Yes, that utter nonsense struck me forcibly too. What a load of rubbish. Low-carbon indeed! Whatever do they think we are made of, what we eat, what we breathe out? I feel so frustrated by the sheer wilful stupidity of it all.

          11

  • #
    pat

    29 Apr: ABC: AEMO to blame for load shedding during SA heatwave, Australian Energy Regulator finds
    Power was switched off to 90,0000 properties on the hot February evening when heavy use of air-conditioning meant demand outstripped supply.
    At the time, AEMO said load shedding was the only option to prevent the risk of prolonged damage to infrastructure…
    But the report from the Australian Energy Regulator found AEMO underestimated the high level of demand and overestimated power output from wind generators.
    “More accurate forecasts of both demand and wind generation may have led to earlier market signalling of a shortage,” the regulator’s chairwoman Paula Conboy said.
    “We understand accurate forecasting during extreme conditions can be particularly challenging but it is also critical to the effective operation of the market…

    Similar conditions the following day forced AEMO to order a Pelican Point generator be switched on, which triggered special pricing arrangements that caused electricity wholesale spot prices to soar…
    An error by power distributor SA Power Networks saw three times as many customers switched off than what was ordered by AEMO…
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-04-29/aemo-to-blame-for-load-shedding-during-sa-heatwave-report-finds/8481954

    10

  • #
    TdeF

    As an IPA member for a few years, I have written to John Roskam, head of the IPA. I have asked him to look at the say $5Bn a year paid to third parties for a capricious certificate price for which we receive not a kw of electricity. I believe no government in the Westminster tradition has the right to order such payment. It is not a tax and they can only raise taxes. Government utilties can also fine you and ask you to pay for services. They do not have the right to force you to pay people for nothing at all. Worse, for the right to buy electricity from someone else.

    I hope to post his response. After reading the IPA text on Magna Carta, it is about time the Australian taxpayer said this is not even a tax and it is not within the powers vested the Government in the Constitution of Australia to force us to pay strangers for nothing at all.

    Of all the Green taxes, we are paying the world’s highest Carbon tax and it is not even a tax.

    50

    • #
      Dennis

      Australian politicians, not every single one of them but far too many, have lost sight of why they are members of parliaments. They should be the elected representatives of constituents in electorates looking after the best interests of constituents, state business and national business of governments. What TdeF has commented on is the tip of an iceberg of examples of how our politicians behave like they are our masters rather than being our (public) servants.

      40

  • #
    pat

    28 Apr: Dr. Roy Spencer: People’s Climate March on Saturday — through Snow!?
    I’m sure the warmth in DC will be pointed to as evidence of global warming during the march.
    But check out this forecast of the regions of above and below normal for midday Saturday (graphic courtesy of Weatherbell.com)…
    Yet, even the oldest of marchers will be unlikely to have experienced more than 2 deg. F of warming over their lifetime — too little to notice.
    So, one is left to wonder, what are the real reasons for these marches?
    CHECK THE COMMENTS
    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2017/04/peoples-climate-march-on-saturday-through-snow/

    28 Apr: Quartz: Katherine Ellen Foley: The People’s Climate March isn’t even pretending to be non-partisan
    “The goals of this march are really to show our opposition to Trump’s agenda,” says Jamie Henn, the co-founder and communications director of 350.org, one of the major organizers for both the 2014 and 2017 editions…
    “Generally, we shouldn’t make [climate change] partisan, but we have to acknowledge that it has been made partisan,” says Andrew Bennett, a political scientist at Georgetown University. “That happened not by Democrats moving against Republicans, but by Republicans moving against scientists and climate change.”…

    28 Apr: WaPo: Martin Weil: Climate March cause has link with record-breaking weather expected
    Although uncommon for April, 90 degree temperatures in Washington have occurred before. In fact, the mercury has reached 95 on four different April dates…

    28 Apr: WaPo: Jason Samenow: Historically hot and humid weather likely for Saturday’s climate march in Washington
    Saturday’s forecast high temperature of around 91 degrees is 20 degrees above normal for the date and around 30 degrees warmer than the previous Saturday. It would be hotter than a typical afternoon in mid-July, when the average high is 89 degrees.
    Should Washington hit 90 Saturday, it will be 19 days ahead of the average first 90-degree day (May 17) and the earliest first 90-degree day since 2013 (on April 10).
    The coincidence of a record-hot day in a record-warm month during a climate march is fitting…

    28 Apr: WaPo: Chris Mooney: Thousands to gather in sweltering heat for Saturday’s climate march
    “The climate movement will convene in D.C. to show that the election didn’t cancel physics,” wrote climate activist and author Bill McKibben…

    Record-Breaking Heat Possible for Climate March on Sat.
    NBC4 Washington · 20 hours ago

    Nature to greet People’s Climate March with record heat
    Mashable-16 hours ago

    28 Apr: The Hill: Devin Henry: EPA removes climate change page from website
    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) removed several pages – including those related to climate change – from its website on Friday as part of an update to “reflect the agency’s new direction under President Donald Trump and Administrator Scott Pruitt.”…
    The agency’s pages relating to climate change, climate science, the impacts of climate change and what readers can do about climate change are all gone from the live site, each replaced with a banner headline saying “this page is being updated.”…

    28 Apr: Westernwire: Winter Blast Putting Climate Protests On Ice In Colorado
    The threat of a major snowstorm is already putting Denver-area climate marches on ice. With the Washington Post reporting on how the “sweltering heat” in our nation’s capital is providing a relevant backdrop for the “People’s Climate March” tomorrow, the foot of snow expected in Colorado tomorrow has already postponed one of the several planned protests in the state…
    “Sometimes Mother Nature throws you a curveball!” 350 Colorado Springs wrote in a Facebook page earlier this afternoon. “Dangerous conditions and wet heavy snow in the forecast for tomorrow. Stay safe and warm and join us Sunday afternoon same time and place!!”…

    10

  • #
    doubtingdave

    don’t you really understand that it is a divide and conger tactic , they want to divide us , get us fighting against each other so that they can control us

    00

  • #
    doubtingdave

    I hsve been a blues guitar player for many years , why should I be considered a racist when I play with artists from all walks of life , just because I am a white man ,https://youtu.be/kODhvOvO2EQ

    00

  • #
    Dennis

    Shortly after the Abbott Coalition Government took office in 2013 they announced a list of non government organisations that would no longer be funded, the climate change office run by Tim Flannery was on that list. The government stated at that time that they had a number of others under consideration to lose taxpayer funding.

    Many government regulations were abandoned too.

    On Anzac Day an Australian born in Somalia who was brought here as a baby who is now in her mid twenties was rightly criticised for making a comment attempting to score a political point. She is a casual ABC employee (according to ABC management) and a member of the government’s Anzac Centenary Working Group. She is also on a number of other government funded groups such as the Council for Arab-Australia relations and was sent on a taxpayer funded trip to Middle Eastern countries as our ambassador.

    My point is about non government organisations, the cost to taxpayers (federal budget) and why are they necessary. One example is the Arab-Australia Council, we have a Department of Foreign Affairs and diplomatic missions around the world. The population of Australians from Middle East countries is quite small. So why spend extra taxpayer’s monies?

    The Human Rights & Equal Opportunities Commission is another example of government department duplication and it has a Tribunal that effectively acts like a court of law but does not have the powers of a court to enforce its judgements. My understanding is that this Commission is based on the UNHCR. But Australia has laws covering human rights?

    Green tape, red tape, non-government organisations, foreign visits, all government/taxpayer funded.

    The federal government (and state governments too) have spending problems, budget deficits and debt with interest to pay.

    This duplication and political favouritism has to stop.

    30

  • #
    Geoff Sherrington

    In the mid 1990s I was at the end of my time in the resources sector. By then I was full time trying to stem this bureaucratic tide. It was the biggest impediment to continuing mineral exploration and in mining, the ominous signs of Sovereign risk were growing. Our pulp and paper sector had been through the mill, or more accurately, we had fought to get the $2b Wesley Vale Mill up and running. Tasmania still needs it today.
    What does it take to deal with the paperwork mess? The most sever I got was to take the then Federal Minister for the Environment to Court. We has numerous mining leases granted by the Commonwealth, in the East Alligator region of the NT. As we tried to work on them, we were met with increasing interference and delays. We had to be careful because we were in the process of getting the Ranger uranium mines into production, again with opposition. The Environment minister finally engineered the intention to have Stage II of Kakadu national park (where these leases were, before it became a park) to be inscribed on the World Heritage list. That, we surmised, would be the end of our activity there. The nearby mine was on land excluded from the park and still is, though surrounded by it. So we had mining leases granted by the Commonwealth on the proviso that we work and expend $ on each of them according to a schedule, but at the same time were being told that it was imminent that we could not do any mineral work on this land at all. The Court case went or way in the Federal Court and the party in Paris to celebrate the inscription had to be cancelled. The fury set in. The decision was appealed before the Full Bench of the Federal Court, where we lost. One of the Judges was a recent President of the Australian Conservation Foundation, but he did not have the manners to recuse himself. So, we took it to the High Court, as far as we could go, but they confessed in essence that it was a tangled web that they could not be bothered to untangle. It cost us a lot of $$$.
    One of my last acts was to sit down with a QC and his Barrister in training for a QC, on and off for a couple of weeks, to draft a Commonwealth Mining Act. There was no such Act then; there is still none now. The Act we drafted was 11 pages long. A vital provision was that the ownership of new minerals discovered in Australia would go to the entity that discovered them. While this seems fair an reasonable from a distance, it is clearly a loss of bureaucratic control, so it was killed by the Establishment as fast as they could go.
    Because, at the base, the motivation for many bureaucrats is increasing power, increasing numbers of people they can affect and employ. That is what has to change before Australia makes much progress in reducing the bureaucratic burden. It will be a long time coming, because these days the heads of major corporations have gone gutless and refuse to mount serious challenges. Worse, some of them appear to have drunk the Kool-aid, example, see the major Aust banks voluntarily refusing to fund loans to get Adani coal mine going.
    While the principle of bureaucratic involvement seems remote and obtuse to most people, if you have to deal with it – especially when $$Billions are involved – it is very real and very serious. Without doubt, it is a major factor in Australian unemployment, the rating of the Australian $ and in the increasing national debt.
    As I approach birthday 76, on reflection, one of the major lifetime changes has been the huge increase in the number of people paid to tell other people what they can and cannot do, plus the attendant enforcers. I do not know what more I can do except to give examples of what I, we, have done in the past and hope that the drivers of Australia’s economy today will pick up the challenge and go for it.
    One place in dire need of revision is the Education system, from top to bottom. At present, we have a crop of University Vice Chancellors and mates who are making quite inexplicable decisions about social engineering – and I have a 6 year old grandson who is bringing home from school some views on the environment that you and I would not share.
    It makes me sad. Geoff.

    80

  • #
    Stephen Harper

    Jo,

    The original article has the figure at $176 billion, not million. $176 million is not that much in the grand scheme of ‘things’, but $176 billion is a colossal sum that is difficult to comprehend. And a trillion is an even more difficult concept to grasp, though such words roll off our tongues (and fingertips) so readily. Here’s a revealing way to understand these numbers: If you started counting dollar bills at the rate of one per second, it would take twelve days to get to $1 million dollars. It would take 31 years to get to $1 billion; and it would take a staggering 31,000 years to reach $1 trillion! We really have no idea of how far in the hole the world is. The US has a federal debt of almost US$20 trillion, but when all off balance sheet debt is included (e.g. unfunded liabilities like public sector employee pensions) and we add the fifty states into the mix, the US has a debt that exceeds an incomprehensible $100 trillion. Time for a bex and a good lie down.

    00