No Minister

Archive for the ‘Australia’ Category

Spot The Difference

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In Australia’s woke corporate world, two major companies reported eye watering losses this week and one CEO resigned. He is Paul Broad, on whose watch the brainless* Snowy Mountain 2 scheme incurred a $2.2 billion dollar cost over-run.

The other CEO, Allan Joyce, presides over Qantas which this week posted an operating loss of $1.9 billion dollars to go with its previous two annual losses each of over $1 billion. Not a hint of resignation.

  • That’s the scheme where you use energy to pump water uphill to later flow downhill to produce energy. Geddit?

Written by adolffinkensen

August 26, 2022 at 6:42 pm

Posted in Australia, New Zealand

What Price The PJT?

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None of the executives at Woolworths are old enough to remember Gough Whitlam’s PJT – the Prices Justification Tribunal – one of the very good things he did.

Adolf remembers the tribunal as a significant tool in the fight against the inflation of the seventies. It stopped greedy companies from ‘price gouging.’

Fast forward to today.

Adolf is a creature of habit whose breakfast comprises half a cup of dry Nutrigrain with fresh fruit. Yesterday I looked up Woolworths Online to see if it was on special but, alas, it was not. However, it had gone up a bit.

From around $8.50 two months ago to a whopping $10.00

That in an increase of 17% and I’m screaming “Buuullshiiiiiiiiit!”

So a letter to Woolworths.

Dear Sir

I am the reincarnated Prices Justification Tribunal from the 1970s.

Would you kindly provide me with detailed justification for your recent 17% increase in your price for an 805g pack of Nutrigrain.

Yours faithfully

Gough

In a similar vein, the high analysis fertilizer I buy has gone up from $44/25kg a year ago to $61.50 this week. That I can understand because of a world wide shortage of urea.

Written by adolffinkensen

July 28, 2022 at 1:58 pm

Posted in Australia, New Zealand

You’d Think It Was So Simple….

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Readers may not be aware there has been a massive outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease in Indonesia, spreading in recent days to Bali. Uncomfortably close to Australia.

There is much shouting and screaming going on here, mainly from the Liberal Party. Wash my mouth out with carbolic soap but here I think Albanese is right to refuse to close the border. The CEO of the National Farmers Federation agrees.

You see, a premature border closure would spark retaliation from Indonesia which is a major trading partner. Albanese has declared the border will be closed if and when Australian officials think Indonesia is failing to control the outbreak. ( The Libs remind me of destroying the village to save the village.)

Meanwhile, Adolf sought information on the safety of eating meat from infected animals. An e-mail winged its way to the Department of Primary Industries to elicit a prompt reply – please redirect you enquiry to the Animal Biosecurity and Welfare Program. They were puzzled and told me this was a question for the DPI and could not provide an answer.

Adolf eventually found a reference from the NZ Ministry of Primary Industry.

Food would be safe

If New Zealand had an outbreak of FMD, commercially produced food and drink made from susceptible animals would be safe to eat and drink.

Hmmmmmmmmm. What does that mean? Processed (cooked) meat. Or is fresh meat from an abattoir ‘commercially produced?’

How strange that the answer to such a basic question is hidden away.

Written by adolffinkensen

July 25, 2022 at 8:46 pm

Posted in Australia

Tagged with

Breathtakingly Sensational – Updated

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The Australian media would make a federal case out of a chicken crossing the road.

Here’s today’s headline from SkyNews, whose editor should know better.

Biosecurity powers invoked at airports

Incoming passengers from Indonesia now will be required to walk along special pads which disinfect their footwear. Why is this so? Because Foot and Mouth Disease has spread to Bali and traces of the dead virus have entered Australia.

So, a simple, commonsense measure is introduced. Closing the border to flights from Indonesia was rejected.

I don’t remember such reports when Victoria’s lunatic premier took draconian powers for himself under the pretext of controlling Covid.

It gets worse. Here’s the headline from Sky:-

National plan to end domestic violence

It’s actually an intergovernmental plan to REDUCE domestic violence. They’ll need to start by shooting all the daughter fucking wife bashing men in outback Northern Territory

Written by adolffinkensen

July 23, 2022 at 4:02 pm

Posted in Australia

Tagged with ,

A Fortunate Life…..

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……… and peaceful, too.

(Literary reference in headline.)

I don’t use Twitter or Facebook, I don’t watch the junk on TV, I don’t listen to the mindless crap on radio and I NEVER go near the leftist den of vipers called the ABC. I don’t attend any church led by political activists who worship at the alter of climate change. I subscribe to The Australian and The Wall Street Journal, the latter whose editorials are worth every penny.

Thanks to the internet, I’m better informed than most.

The day begins with coffee and a skim over headlines from the BBC, Fox, Newsmax, SkyNews, and The Australian, then on to Kiwiblog, No Minister, The Platform, Powerline, PJMedia, Gateway Pundit and Instapundit. Gateway can be OTT and sometimes unreliable but they are often first with political stories.

Then, it’s dry Nutrigrain and five fruits for breakfast, half an hour of stretches, a 2 km walk and half an hour of singing practice.

After a mandatory early afternoon half hour zzzzzzzzzz, a bit of mowlawning, rose snipping or tree pruning, the Adolfian neighbours gather at 1630 for evening drinks and a review of the day’s events. We are an eclectic bunch with not a lefty in sight. A retired insurance and finance broker, a retired senior mining engineer and a fly in fly out Maori concrete truck driver with full facial tattoo.

The Cook had the nerve to call this ‘gossip’ but we have many important issues before us. Like, how much chilli should you put in steamed rice?

I’m told such a daily gathering is rare. These days, most people don’t even talk to their neighbours.

Written by adolffinkensen

July 11, 2022 at 4:54 pm

Posted in Australia, MSM

Tagged with

Can You Spot Something Wrong

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with this story from SkyNews?

Emergency Services are on the scene of a helicopter crash in Sydney's north. Picture: Supplied.

BREAKINGAustralia

Helicopter crash north of Sydney

Police and emergency services are at the scene after a helicopter crashed in dense bushland north of Sydney.

Scroll down

Down

Doooooowwwwn

The chopper actually crashed on a road NEAR some thick bush.

Written by adolffinkensen

July 9, 2022 at 7:56 pm

Posted in Australia

Tagged with

Learning from other’s mistakes

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I’m not talking about Labour and certainly not the NZ Greens. They’re committed to a path of insanity when it comes to renewable energy, as they are most other things in our society.

No, I’m looking at National and ACT. I understand that polling shows that Jacinda still has quite a grip on the female vote in this country, and that polling and focus groups show the same cohort as being the determining factor on things like wearing face diapers to ward off the dreaded Chinese Lung Rot – and saving the planet! I also get that this is backed by a wall of almost monolithic MSM propaganda 24/7.

But we surely now have enough examples from “leaders” in renewable energy around the world who have started to run into big problems with both the unreliability of these new power sources and the increase in power costs associated with them, as well as the failure to reduce CO2 emissions, (which is what this was supposed to be all about in the first place) to be able to argue back on the basis of sheer, basic, in-your-face reality and not join the insanity.

Here’s the latest victim of that reality, South Africans left in the dark after grid collapse:

South Africans are struggling in the dark to cope with increased power cuts that have hit households and businesses across the country.

The rolling power cuts have been experienced for years but this week the country’s state-owned power utility Eskom extended them so that some residents and businesses have gone without power for more than 9 hours a day.

Eskom has officially said that the blackouts are not a temporary situation and they estimate that it will take “years” to stabilise the power grid. The unstated assumption is that they can manage this feat at all in the face of the path their government has followed on trying to reduce CO2 emissions by building wind farms and closing some of their old coal-fired plants and not spending money on repairs and maintenance of the others because they anticipated their eventual closure.

Does this sound familiar? It should given that we’ve seen the exact same thing happening in Australia, Europe (especially Germany), Texas, and California:

  • Power blackouts (both rolling and sudden)
  • Massive increases in electricity costs
  • Little to no impact on reducing CO2 emissions

The biggest joke here is that we may be about to commit the same suicidal actions just as the rest of the world begins to turn away from it, despite all their hot air on the subject of Global Warming, because those energy realities are starting to bite:

World leaders at the Group of 7 summit in Germany signaled they will turn back to fossil fuels despite their commitments to a green energy transition thanks to the ongoing energy crisis.

“The G7 leaders are pretending that nothing has happened to the green agenda,” Benny Peiser, director of the Global Warming Policy Forum, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “In reality, if you look at individual member states… it’s quite obvious that the green agenda will be sunk.

German Economy Minister Robert Habeck, a member of the Green Party, announced last week that the government was instituting a surge in the use of coal-powered plants.

Given the steady increase in German reliance on natural gas from Russia over the last few years, their €500 billion Energiewende project increasingly looked like a farce anyway, but it’s taken the Ukranian war to make that obvious.

Habeck is not the only such Green who is waking up, with other Euro Greens beginning to not only get the message that their favoured Renewables are actually better called the Unreliables, but that new – and previously forbidden – thinking is required:

Finland’s Green Party (Vihreät De Gröna) has voted by a large majority at its party conference to adopt a pro-nuclear approach. The party manifesto now states that nuclear is “sustainable energy” and demands the reform of current energy legislation to streamline the approval process for small modular reactors (SMRs). Finland’s is the first Green Party to adopt such a position.

There will be others, judging from this article by a guy who has started up or run companies dedicated to “clean energy technologies”, energy efficient homes and so forth – a True Believer in other words:

I wasted 20 years of my life chasing utopian energy.

Utopian energy is an imagined form of energy that’s abundant, reliable, inexpensive, and also clean, renewable, and life-sustaining. But utopian energy is as much a fantasy as a utopian society.

For years, I chased utopian energy. I promoted solar, wind, and energy efficiency because I felt like I was protecting the environment. But I was wrong! Feeling like you’re doing the right thing doesn’t mean you are. I just couldn’t admit it. My sense of identity was tied to my false beliefs about energy—myths that blinded me to what really does—and doesn’t—help the planet.

He puts forward eight measures of assessment that must all be used when looking at energy sources – emissions being just one of them. The other seven are: security, reliability, affordability, versatility, scalability, and land use.

Suffice to say that he’s realised that renewables don’t do very well when measured on all these factors, as he shows in that article.

Will National and ACT realise the same thing – and more crucially will they be intellectually and politically tough enough to make those arguments?

Written by Tom Hunter

July 4, 2022 at 10:22 am

Modern Medicine

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For some time now Adolf has endured seriously troublesome back pain in the lower lumbar region.

Thinking it would go away, I probably should have gone to the doctor sooner but eventually a CT scan revealed the culprit. A bulging disc impinging on nerve ends.

So. A spinal cortisone injection was called for. Adolf had not heard of this procedure so some looking up was done. A needle is inserted into the spine through local anesthetic and while a further CT Scan is underway, leaving the cortisone in exactly the right place.

Adolf was advised the procedure has a 70% success rate so I’m pleased to advise readers I must be the 69th percentile. First decent night’s sleep in six months and no longer losing my balance. It seems quite strange to be walking freely.  However, two days with no exercise is pretty dull.  I can’t stand the junk on TV so singing practice is all there is. Wagner, Gounod, Caldara, Verdi, Rogers and Hammerstein.

After a week I’ll be back to light duties, half an hour’s daily stretches and a short walk, working up to six kilometres.

It must have worked! The Cook says I’m not so grumpy.

And the best thing of all, those dumb bastards who voted for Albanese all paid for it. Every penny.

Written by adolffinkensen

June 30, 2022 at 2:08 pm

Posted in Australia, Healthcare

Lessons for National from the Australian Power Crisis

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There are three key points to take away from the recent power debacle in Australia.

First, take a look at this graph of indexed electricity prices in Aussie from 1955 to 2017. After decades of steady reduction the rise in price has been steep and unrelenting since the start of the age of unreliable power in the mid-2000’s.

Remember this every time some Green tells you that Wind and Solar are cheaper than traditional base load, utility-scale power sources; “cost” is about more than just the Capex of the equipment. It’s about the cost of power shortages, limited growth, potential grid collapses, shorter plant lifetimes (25 years), and the cost of maintaining reliable backup power sources.

Second, note that the Liberal-National’s have been in government during much of this time, including the last nine years just ended. So when Labor and the Left hold them responsible for much of this nonsense they will be correct.

Third, hidden by such truth is the fact that Labor and the Greens wanted to go harder and faster on all this, which may have been a better idea since the crash would have come harder and faster, with appropriate lessons learned.

Best of all it should be noted that this is all a complete waste of time and money.

The primary lesson for National here in NZ on renewable unreliable power and climate change is this: Labour and the Left want you in on this so that when the hungry, cold crowds with the pitchforks and burning torches turn up they can point fingers at you and say:

“But they did it too”

And they’ll be right.

P.S. For those National supporters frightened of the power of Climate Change as an issue, “especially with the youth”, here’s something to stiffen your spines.

Written by Tom Hunter

June 20, 2022 at 12:00 pm

Burn. More. Coal?

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In the classic comic/horror movie Return of the Living Dead, there’s a scene where the zombies eat the brains of the police trying to stop them and one of the zombies uses a cop car radio to call, “Send more cops”.

I thought of this the other day while reading about the new Australian Labor government, returned from the dead after more than a decade, led by an opponent of the Hawke-Keating Labor Party economic reforms of the 1980’s, and a man whose brain not even a hungry zombie would touch.

They’ve arrived just in time to confront a crisis in the Australian electricity system caused by the shrinking gap between power supply and demand, courtesy of the “success” of successive Labor and Liberal-National governments in squeezing out fossil-fueled power stations with wind and solar by making the former unprofitable.

So when a cold snap hit Australia recently – the Coldest Start of Winter for Over a Century in fact – the following things happened:

  • The grid operator tried to force thermal generators on at a power price less than their fuel costs, so the generators took their units off the market.
  • Thus there are power cuts in Oz and power prices have gone through the roof.
  • The authorities finally suspended the market and ordered operators to bring plants on line, for which they will be “compensated”. No doubt this will be taken by the Left as yet another example of how markets fail.

In the darkest of ironies the government was forced to grovel as well as enforce:

Labor has begged industry bosses to fire up all their coal-fuelled power stations at full capacity to ease the national energy crisis in a dramatic policy u-turn.

Just days after promising ‘real action on climate change‘, Labor today demanded the nation’s coal power stations are all brought back into service as soon as possible.

It’s not just the power plants that have been shut down but coal units that have broken down as they haven’t been maintained because they haven’t been generating income. And all the parties (except maybe the Australian National party) will talk only about how quickly they need to be shut down.

Green political hostility towards coal and gas development created Australia’s energy shortage problem, by discouraging investment in affordable energy resources, and choking off the supply of bank finance for building and maintenance of coal plants.

This is called karma. The poster child of renewable power, South Australia, actually had to burn diesel again.

I’d like to think that Aussie voters will learn something from this but they’ve just managed to escape disaster – this time – so will likely need a longer, colder power crisis. Next time the gap will be bigger, as will be the case in the USA:

Unfortunately, the reliability of the electric grid could get worse in the coming years as more reliable power plants are retired. MISO’s capacity shortfall is projected to grow to 2,600 MW by 2023, enough to power virtually every home in Minnesota on an average hour, and capacity deficits are projected to widen in subsequent years.

The graph below shows the capacity shortfall growing from 2,600 MW next year to 10,900 MW by 2027 as the green bars sink lower toward the x-axis. For context, 10,900 MW is more than the amount needed to generate Minnesota’s annual electricity on an average hourly basis. Of course, some hours will have much higher demand, and some hours demand will be lower, but the trend is troubling regardless.

That’s from a report issued by the Midcontinent Independent Systems Operator powerline outfit, which details a high risk of blackouts this Northern summer resulting from the current gap of 1,230 MW shortfall in power plant capacity to meet its peak demand and reserve margin.

This gap has arisen after 3,200 megawatts (MW) of reliable power plants, mostly coal and nuclear, were retired last year:

“Green” energy liberals have demanded, successfully, that reliable coal and nuclear plants be closed so they can be replaced by wind farms and solar installations. But those unreliable, intermittent sources can never replace power plants that actually work 24/7. Hence the blackouts that are now beginning, and will become more and more widespread if we continue to rely increasingly on undependable sources of power.

President Obama was the last Lefty politician to display some honesty about the true cost of renewable energy:“Electricity prices will skyrocket”:

You’d therefore think that the Democrats would be overjoyed at the massive increases in energy costs, and of course they secretly are, except for one thing crucial to a politician:

Elections have consequences, someone once said, and now the consequences of all of those elections in which Californians put leftist Democrats in office are hitting them in the wallet. They asked for it, they got it, and now they don’t like it.

The same thing – massive increases in power prices plus unreliable power plus fossil fuel plants that cannot be scrapped – has happened in Germany in particular and Europe in general, and all for poor results in GHG emissions reductions (France excepted because …. nuclear).

But never fear, the Greens have a solution:

Already, liberals are talking about a future in which you don’t control your use of electricity. Rather, a utility does. Thus, when “renewable” energy sources don’t produce enough to meet demand, the response will be “demand management.” That may mean, among other things, that you won’t be able to turn on your own air conditioning. Rather, the utility will control the temperature of your home for you.

Classic: via political control the Left create a problem and then solve it with more control. The thing is that in the USA I’m not so sure that will work given how much Americans hate being controlled. Some years ago my friend Cathy, living in San Francisco, talked to all her equally Liberal, tree-hugging friends about a great idea she’d grown up with in New Zealand – “Ripple Control” – which many of you may remember from the 1970’s and 1980’s. In the wee small hours the Department of Electricity would signal water heaters to shut down, starting them up again about 5am or so. Naturally Kiwis took it up the ass, even as they blamed Muldoon.

Her neighbours and friends completely rejected the idea and – as she sheepishly admitted – did so with some heat.

See also:

Powerless Europe (plus dirty Germany)
Energy Charades (Coal expansion in China, India, SE Asia vs. Germany)
Energy Realities (US GHG emissions reduction success vs China coal plus wind fail)

Written by Tom Hunter

June 20, 2022 at 6:00 am