JoNova

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


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The backlash against offshore wind, and the big-money, tax dodging backers of Wind.

It’s a very well written article: Bonackers vs. Big Wind by Robert Bryce. h/t Andrew. The good news is that opponents of wind power are having a lot of success onshore. The bad news is that the renewables industry is pushing offshore instead, but fishermen don’t want them either, and families that have been fishing the same areas for 300 years are up in arms.

“The South Fork fishermen are fighting to preserve their access to some of the most productive fisheries in the world.”

Some eye-opening numbers:

Obama set a target of 10GW of offshore wind power by 2020. But right now there is only 30 MW. It’s 9,970MW short. The offshore push is on. To replace a single nuclear generator will take 45 offshore wind plants. Offshore generation costs as much as three times what gas power costs per KWh.

They face big money renewables proponents — not just rich beachfront homeowners, but large corporations who want tax credits worth millions, and groups like Norwegian oil giant Statoil ASA, plus the Sierra Club and Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). Governor Andrew Cuomo has a goal of “producing 50 percent of the state’s electricity from renewables by [...]

Who needs solar? Traders burnt during the eclipse: No sun, but lots of cheap electricity

Remember the Electrical Eclipse-Fear? For months, people were coached to use less electricity during the eclipse for fear that the grid might fall over as marvelous new-revolution-solar stopped working. The media were selling the message that we might not cope without solar. I figured this would be as big a threat as a cloudy day (but easier to prepare for.).

So after all the spin, what happened? Electricity was massively oversupplied, and spot prices went negative.

Apparently people went outside to watch the sky. (At least that’s Southwest Power’s excuse.)

Most of the groups that hyped the fear don’t seem to have mentioned the failure so much:

 Why Energy Traders Got the Eclipse So Wrong — Bloomberg

Grid operators and traders thought they were totally prepped for the historic U.S. solar eclipse. There was just this one thing they didn’t completely factor in: “irregular human-behavior patterns.”

That’s the technical definition, from the folks who manage the electricity network at the Southwest Power Pool, for the conduct of millions of Americans who were outdoors ogling the moon shadowing the sun instead of cranking up the A/C in homes and offices.

This was a bummer for traders who’d [...]

Japan: Fifty solar PV companies already gone in 2017 as subsidies end. Coal soaring.

What’s the word for competitive-but-needs-a-subsidy?  Broke…

One hundred solar PV companies are forecast to collapse in Japan this year alone.

Up to 100 solar PV firms in Japan could face bankruptcy this year, with more than double the number of firms going bust in the first half of this year than the same period in 2016.

According to corporate credit research company Teikoku Databank, which surveys companies across various industries and has produced its third report on solar PV company bankruptcies, 50 companies in Japan’s solar sector have already gone out of business in the first six months of 2017.

While the market overall has rapidly expanded from the launch of the feed-in tariff (FiT) in July 2012, Teikoku Databank acknowledged that there has been a slowdown in deployment in the past couple of years as the government successively made cuts of 10% or more on an annual basis to the premium prices paid for solar energy fed into the grid.

Bankruptcies have doubled in the industry since last year.

Meanwhile Japan plans to build at least 45 HELE Coal Plants.

Check out the map of “coal in versus coal out” in Japan. For [...]

Solar Homes use more grid electricity than non-solar homes

There are probably more solar panels in QLD than anywhere else in the world. Back in February last year, the boss of the Queensland state power company announced the awkward result that households with solar panels were using more electricity than those without. Apparently people without solar were turning off the air conditioner because electricity cost too much, but the solar users didn’t have to worry about the cost so much.

Queensland solar homes are using more grid electricity than non-solar, says Energex boss

Feb 2016:  Solar-powered homes in south-east Queensland, which boasts the world’s highest concentration of rooftop panels, have begun consuming on average more electricity from the grid than those without solar, the network operator has found.

Terry Effeney, the chief executive of state-owned power distributor Energex, said the trend – which belied the “green agenda” presumed to drive those customers – was among the challenges facing a region that nevertheless stood the best chance globally of making solar the cornerstone of its electricity network.

From October 2014 in Queensland, the average grid electricity use of solar homes started to exceed the average use of people without solar power and stayed higher for the at least the [...]

The TPP monster has 5,544 pages. A real free trade agreement would have 1

Lately the Five Star Free Market label is just a fake seal of approval for something Unfree

Just as carbon trading has nothing to do with a free market, so it is with monster free trade deals like the TPP. The free market meme won the intellectual debate of the 20th Century, but now its good name gets used and abused to sell the idea it defeated –  bigger-government.

A real free market deal has only one page and a bunch of signatures. But it takes a lot of pages to list all the unfree parts and to spell it out in sub-sub-clauses that hurt or help thousands of businesses around the world. Who gets the sweetest deal out of the complexity — the card carrying networkers — those who schmooze up to the right minister or bureaucrat. The people who compete on price or quality alone would win in a real free market, and so would we as customers. Instead the document rewards the gatekeepers, the rulemakers, the industry with the best lobbyists and the monied set who can donate enough to the right causes to get a better deal.

Tipping the scales at 5,544 pages — [...]

Would you give up the internet for a million dollars? Killer video on economic growth.

This is what economic growth means, and what some regressives fear so much.

How much would money would you have to be offered to give up the Internet for the rest of your days?

We are all rich beyond  the wildest dreams of yesterdays Kings.

Thanks to The Fund for American Studies.

Central banks drive booms and busts, and force everyone to be a high risk speculator

It doesn’t have to be this way. The most important price in our economy is set by a bunch of bureaucrats. They are unelected and unaccountable. But your day to day life is affected by their decisions, as well as your ability to buy a house or for your retirement savings to maintain their value. Some people are wiped out by a mere phrase in a memo. There is a deep Soviet style management program at the centre of all Western economies. It’s time we talked about that ogre.

Maurice Newman, former chair of the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX), writes in The Australian about the defining invisible issue which is rarely discussed — our currencies, our central banks:

Vladimir Lenin advocated: “The best way to destroy the capitalist system is to debauch the currency.” True or not, we seem hellbent on finding out.

Dark times are coming:

The BIS has rung the alarms. We are warned that the world’s most reckless monetary experiment, which has taken interest rates to the lowest in recorded history, is failing. Central bankers remain silent, not knowing how or when to end what they began, while the political class simply looks [...]

Climate change is potentially a $7 Trillion dollar money making venture (for bankers)

The tide of money, the vested interests flows

H/t to Eric Worrall at WattsUp.

The current “green” industry is already around $1.5 Trillion a year. Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of England said he expects this to grow to $5-7 trillion.

Financial Post: Climate change a $7 trillion funding opportunity

He said that given the enormous funding needs for clean infrastructure — he estimates at somewhere between $5 trillion and $7 trillion a year — investment opportunities will rebound.

 If clean green energy was efficient, cheap and reliable there would be no “funding need” as the market would leap to exploit that opportunity. Instead most leading investors act like they are skeptics. The fact that central bankers are selling it so aggressively says a lot. Perhaps central bankers want to help the poor and save the world, or could it be that the entire financial industry will profit from a fake, forced market and another fiat currency? What are the brokerage fees on a $7T market…

Again we get this “free market” myth:

[Carbon pricing is the cleanest way for markets to judge the tangible exposure to climate change," said Carney

Something serious happening to the Chinese economy?

Something suddenly changed in December last year in the world’s second largest economy (some say it’s the first). For the last few years private investors in China have been running away at a faster and faster pace. Apparently, no one wants to invest in the Chinese economy except the government, and six months ago, the State launched a rocket.

The massive growth of China is partly thanks to rampant money-printing. Say hello to Malinvestment. The Chinese economy is sick. It’s distraction time. Anyone want to stoke a war?

 

I saw the graph on the ABC news last night thanks to Phillip Lasker. The original graph came from Bloomberg under this unlikely headline:

 China Proves Doubters Wrong For Now as Credit Boom Stokes Growth

“Stoking Growth” is not always desirable — to go biological — cancer “stokes growth” and so does Ebola.

“The amount of cash Beijing is shoveling into the economy is stunning,” said Andrew Collier, an independent analyst in Hong Kong and former president of Bank of China International USA. “Given high fixed-asset investment among state-owned enterprises, it’s likely most of it is being consumed by the inefficient state sector. This is [...]

What Brexit market disaster?

For five days headlines have told us the markets are being “Pounded”, with “Turmoil”, like a “Wild Ride” with “bloodletting“. I thought I’d graph the horror of the last week on the FTSE100, DAX, the CAC40 and the Euronext.  Naturally big-government fans in the media have no interest in overselling the disaster that is Brexit.

Spot the crisis?

The last five years of the FTSE 100. See the carnage of the last week:

5 Year FTSE graph   TradingEconomics.com

More shocking routs on the continent. Here’s the last twelve months of the EURONEXT:

[...]

Brexit reporting — nobody mention “Switzerland” or “Norway”

Both sides of Brexit were shocked — the Remainers because they have never met a Brexiteer nor bothered to read their arguments. And The Brexiters were a bit shocked too — amazed that despite the big-media bias, puffed up economic scare and the blanket of institutional warnings, the public can still fight off big-gov with their votes in a bloodless coup. It’s a rare win.

Who wants to be tied to an economic basketcase?

Under the media shock and warnings of  the recession coming almost no one mentioned “Switzerland”, or “Norway“. Here’s the GDP growth graph from the World Bank showing just how well the EU fares compared to the non-EU countries of Australia, New Zealand, Canada, The US, Switzerland and Norway. Note the success of the EU red line which in nearly every year is outdone by nearly everyone else. The economic disaster that the UK faces is better GDP growth.

EU GDP Growth 2008 – 2015, World Bank, compared to non-EU nations, Switzerland, NZ, US

The reasons to leave the EU were so compelling the amazing thing is that 48% of the public still voted to stay. Chalk that “success” up to the media, and on an [...]

Countdown to Brexit — Britain’s Independence Day?

Best wishes to our UK friends on this important day. UPDATE: Polls shut at 10pm on Thursday UK time (7am Friday AEST). Final Tally: “breakfast time” Friday in the UK ( which is  4- 6pm on the East Coast of Australia).

“… it’s the last chance most of us are ever going to get in our lifetime to vote for an outcome which is genuinely in the interest of us the people – the demos – rather than that of the increasingly powerful, ever-more-deeply-entrenched elite.”

– James Delingpole

The British Isles Invented Freedom

“… the people of what is now called Great Britain created something entirely different from the closed and centralized regimes that have been the norm in most of human history. They produced a society where rulers were subject to the law and the law belonged to the people, where collective will did not trump individual right, and where free citizens were permitted to create and keep their own wealth. These principles have transformed the world: “The miracles of the past three and a half centuries—the unprecedented improvements in democracy, in longevity, in freedom, in literacy, in calorie intake, in infant survival rates, [...]

Children win Climate Change legal case: lose future economy

Children Win Another Climate Change Legal Case In Mass Supreme Court

[Forbes] This case is one of several similar cases in federal district courts in Oregon and Washington, and in the state courts of North Carolina, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and Colorado. All of these legal cases are supported by Our Children’s Trust, that seeks the legal right of our youth to a healthy atmosphere and stable climate in the future.

How about the legal right of our youth to live in a sustainable civilization? What if a stable climate costs more than a stable economy can afford?

Other parents might hope their children have the right to inherit a stable currency, and a government without trillions in debt.

Championed by Professor Mary Christina Wood in the Law School at the University of Oregon under the idea of Atmospheric Trust Litigation, these lawsuits claim that a government elected by the people and for the people has a duty to protect the natural systems required for the people’s survival.

So if the government is elected by the people to make these kinds of decisions, why is a court deciding public policy? The children of Massachusetts are free to [...]

Turnbull is already saying climate policies are “not set in stone”. Beware the emissions trading scheme.

It’s only been a week, and already the door is open to the emissions trading monster.  The Nationals may have got Turnbull to agree in writing last Tuesday that he would not change the Abbott policies, but writing things on paper is not enough, apparently it needs to be carved in stone.

If the member for Goldman Sachs still wants the fake “free” market solution — the one he threw away his leadership for in 2009  — he can keep the current coalition plan but use foreign credits to meet the targets. The global carbon market is the $2 Trillion dollar scheme to enrich financial houses, crooks and bureaucrats. It’s a whole fiat currency, ready-to-corrupt. The vested interests in this are knocking at every door. They’d be mad not too. But what kind of world do we want to live in? We don’t have to reward the do-nothing unproductive sector and the corrupt.

A carbon tax is a pointless waste, and the worst kind of carbon tax is a global trading scheme.

If Australians don’t want to be sold out in Paris, they need to protest now. I suggest writing to The Nationals, Libs, Nick Xenophon and media outlets.

Six [...]

The Emissions Trading Scheme monster idea is back – but the conversation is booby-trapped with fake words

It’s a tax that’s “not a tax” and a “free market” that isn’t free.

Joy. An emission trading scheme (ETS) is on the agenda again in Australia. Here’s why the first priority is to clean up a crooked conversation. If we can just talk straight, the stupid will sort itself out.

The national debate is a straight faced parody — it could be a script from “Yes Minister”, except no one would believe it. Bill Shorten argues that the Labor Party can control the world’s weather with something that exactly fits the definition of a tax, yet he calls it a “free market” because apparently he has no idea what a free market really is. (What union rep would?) It’s like our opposition leader is a wannabe entrepreneur building a  Kmart that controls the clouds. Look out Batman, Billman is coming. When is a forced market a free market? When you want to be PM.

The vandals are at the gates of both English and economics, and we can’t even have a straight conversation. The Labor Party is in flat out denial of dictionary definitions — is that because they can’t read dictionaries, or because they don’t want an honest [...]