Environment

Central banks are climate change experts now. If only they possessed such skill in their core competency

Are these people for real? Does the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) truly believe that world’s central banks will become “climate rescuers of last resort”? Do we really want our central banks to be more proactive in pushing governments toward a greener economy by suggesting a carbon tax as “first-best solution“? The problem with central bankers is that every problem looks like a nail when they only have a hammer in the toolkit.

First, on what level do central banks have a clue about climate change? If they had even the foggiest notion about the science they would never have embarked on a set of reckless monetary policy measures that created the very conditions for excessive debt, mal-investment and over-consumption which they now seek to punish us for via the adoption of a carbon tax.

We should not forget the almost $300 trillion of global debt now racked up thanks to abnormally low interest rates. It is politically expedient to run budget deficits too because central banks are only too happy to keep (near) ZIRP or NIRP which makes servicing ballooning deficits appear almost perpetually affordable with short term focused politicians. It is but a figment of their imagination.

How easy it is to sound the alarm on climate change to mask the policy blunders of the last two decades. It would be nice if we could believe they possessed expertise in their mandated role before embarking into a field they have no sound base to work from. It is a dangerous distraction.

It is worth citing a few examples of the record of central banks around the world since GFC.

In 2018, the US Fed stopped reporting changes in the balance sheet. It did this to prevent spooking the markets over tapering. It reminds FNF Media of the day Bernanke’s Fed announced it would no longer report M3 money supply a year before the financial markets headed into the GFC. Why is there a need for a lack of transparency if it wishes to instill market confidence via its policy settings?

Has the Fed reflected on the fact that over half of listed corporates have a credit rating of BBB or below? Ford Motor Co’s credit rating was downgraded by Moody’s to junk. $84bn worth of debt now no longer investment grade. It will be the first of many Fortune 500s to fall foul to this reality. In 2008, there was around $800bn of BBB status credit. That number exceeds $3.186 trillion today. Brought to you courtesy of low interest rates.

The Bank of Japan (BoJ) is now responsible for 60% of all ETF market ownership. Latest reports confirm the Bank of Japan (BoJ) has now become a top 10 shareholder in almost 50% of listed stocks. In a sense, we have a trend which threatens to turn Japan’s largest businesses into quasi-state-owned enterprises (SoE) by the back door. The BoJ now owns $250bn of listed Japanese equities. It is the top shareholder in household Japanese brands such as Omron, Nidec and Fanuc. At current investment rates, the BoJ is set to own $400bn worth of the market by 2020-end.

The BoJ’s manipulation of the JGB market caused several of the major Japanese banks to hand back their trading licenses because they served no purpose anymore given the central bank’s manipulation.

The ECB has dropped the ball in Europe. Jonathan Rochford of Narrowroad Capital wrote,

Many European banks have failed to use the last decade to materially de-risk. The most obvious outworking of this is that European banks continue to receive taxpayer funded bailouts, with Germany’s NordLB and Italy’s Banca Popolare di Bari both receiving lifelines this monthOne final issue that lurks particularly amongst European banks is their gaming of capital ratios. European banks have become masters of finding assets that require little risk capital but can generate a decent margin. Government debt from Italy is one example, with pressure now being put on the ECB to allow for unlimited purchases of Greek government debt. This would substantially increase the already significant “doom loop” risk. This risk arises from the potential for a default on government debt to bankrupt the banks, and the converse situation where failing banks look for a taxpayer bailout and bankrupt the country.

The list goes on and on. Central banks are in no position to lecture the rest of us on anything given their command of their core competence remains so flawed.

Global money velocity has been declining for two decades. Every dollar printed creates an ever shrinking fraction of GDP impact. Yet all we did was double down on all the failed measures that led us into the GFC

What we do know is that the BIS has sought the advice of literature professors to come up with the phrase that climate change presented a “colossal and potentially irreversible risk of staggering complexity.”

Really?

It is easy for the BIS to shout that a “green swan” event could send us into the financial abyss. However the reality is that dreadful stewardship of monetary conditions has set us up for a huge fall. Not a bushfire, storm or flood. Perhaps we might view a green swan event as wishful thinking by central banks because it would allow them to absolve themselves of all responsibility in getting us into this mess in the first place. They want to see themselves as saviors, not culprits.

Rochford sums up central banks brilliantly with this comment,

When it comes to central banks, I would prefer to believe it is a combination of groupthink, an unwillingness to take career risk by speaking the truth and a willingness to either ignore or disregard counter evidence that has resulted in the detrimental decisions since the financial crisis. However, the increasing amount of evidence, often produced by central banks themselves, points to central banks being more culpable than gullible.

So given this condition why on earth are we paying any attention to their prescriptions on saving the planet? When they quit the excuses and fess up that the last two decades of monetary policy has failed to fix the excesses built in the system then we might lend an ear. Until then they join the list of government agencies who don’t want to be caught out not being in line with the settled politics. Truly sick.

50 years of Davoz. The Global Shapers will be the rope the Multistakeholders use to hang the rest of us with

Davos is upon us. That event where the world’s elite congregate via private jet and helicopter transport to tell the rest of us to reconsider our use of a second hand SUV to take the kids to soccer practice for the sake of the planet.

This event marks 50 years. What started as a good idea is now nothing more than a networking event for crony capitalists looking to exploit gutless governments into backing their schemes and ridiculing those that don’t sign up for multi-million dollar memberships.

We should applaud the World Economic Forum (WEF) for helping perpetuate the culture of systemically brainwashing our youth.

In the 2020 Global Risks report, we get the following table which highlights adults (‘Multistakeholders’) and the youth (‘Global Shapers’). Who knew that environmental issues took the Top 5 positions among the kids? Privacy be damned. Adults were more concerned with politics and trade wars. Hint hint President Trump.

The long term outlook produced even more drama. The adults seem to have appeased the kids on climate but their private jet powered life styles at the very least mention global governance failure and the risk of asset bubbles popping.

The youth on the other hand ramped up the global warming rhetoric to 11. The Top 6 concerns are climate and #8 turns out to be about climate refugees. That’s the result of a Marxist education, one that NZ is only too proud to boast about. Forget rational debate to engage kids on how to see two sides of an argument. They will be admonished for speaking out against the orthodoxy. Or doxxed on social media. Or both. Is it any wonder we have a mental health crisis?

Although it is worth mentioning that the deteriorating global economic fundamentals highlighted in the same report risk handing the kids their ideal utopia by way of a deep recession thanks to excessive global debt levels and low interest rates. It is unlikely these self-entitled ‘Global Shapers’ have ever contemplated, much less lived through such an outcome with all of their earth ending hysteria. Best tell them that if they pursue their dream of 100% renewables and zero carbon emissions they can bask in the shared misery of having let their teachers blindly mislead them by never challenging them on anything. Experience is a hard teacher. They’ll get the test first and the lesson afterwards. But such reality will be too late and take decades to fix.

Perhaps these ‘Global Shapers’ would do well to study the reasons why inequality and social upheaval will continue to grow if the world pursues the barking mad drive to decarbonise the world. The report even makes a point to talk of the disruption in France by the yellow vests. It noted,

In France, for example, the persistence of the “gilets jaunes” movement had caused businesses more than US$11.4 billion in losses by December 2019 and complicated the government’s plans for economic revival.

The yellow vests are protesting over regulation and climate related taxes.

Under the chapter of ’10 years left’, we got the following passage which is full of untruths as to beggar belief.

Governments, markets and, in an increasing number of societies, voters are awakening to the urgent realities of climate change—it is striking harder and more rapidly than many expected. The last five years are on track to be the warmest on record. Climate-related natural disasters such as hurricanes, droughts and wildfires are becoming more intense and more frequent, reportedly now averaging a disaster a week. Polar ice is melting more quickly than anticipated, with drastic implications for sea levels and coastal populations. Severe weather is worsening: the last year witnessed unprecedented wildfires and devasting storms across the globe, sea ice loss in the Arctic and record-breaking heatwaves in Europe.”

Yet how was it that Queenslanders voted to keep the incumbent government in power because of its support for a coal mine? Why is China committing to 300-500 new coal-fired power plants?

How is it that the UN has reported categorically that it has ‘low confidence’ on any shift in the behaviour of natural disasters? In the UNIPCC’s March 2018 report on weather extremes with respect to anthropogenic induced global warming) it says,

“…There is low confidence in observed trends in small-scale phenomena such as tornadoes and hail because of data inhomogeneities and inadequacies in monitoring systemsin some regions droughts have become less frequent, less intense, or shorter, for example, in central North America and northwestern Australia. There is limited to medium evidence available to assess climate-driven observed changes in the magnitude and frequency of floodslow confidence for the attribution of any detectable changes in tropical cyclone activity to anthropogenic influences..low confidence in projections of changes in extreme winds.. low confidence in projections of changes in monsoonslow confidence in wave height projections…overall low confidence because of inconsistent projections of drought changes…low confidencein projected future changes in dust storms…low confidence in projections of an anthropogenic effect on phenomena such as shallow landslides.”

Where is the evidence of 10s of millions of climate refugees fleeing rising sea levels an coastal populations?

Virginie K. E. Duvat of the Institut du Littoral et de l’Environnement, University of la Rochelle-CNRS, La Rochelle sponsored by the French National Research Agency; French Ministry of Environment, Energy and Oceans (MEEM) wrote.

Analysis “using tide gauges and satellites showed 30 Pacific and Indian Ocean atolls including 709 islands, revealed that no atoll lost land area and that 88.6% of islands were either stable or increased in area, while only 11.4% contracted.

This confirms a 2010 study by Webb & Kench which revealed,

that 86% of islands remained stable (43%) or increased in area (43%) over the timeframe of analysis. Largest decadal rates of increase in island area range between 0.1 to 5.6 ha. Only 14% of study islands exhibited a net reduction in island area. Despite small net changes in area, islands exhibited larger gross changes.

There is even reference to properties sold in Florida and the risk they become uninsurable. Then why is the Florida house price index at record highs?

What about record breaking cold waves in Europe and Canada? Unprecedented wildfires and storms? Not according to the data.

Unprecedented media sensationalism more like it.

One comment made in the report was the fact that 14x more women die than men during natural disasters. Is this proof there are only two biological genders or are the studies on non-binary deaths during disasters incomplete? This may have to be a separate break out session.

The report also issues this stark warning.

Aside from a number of vanguard first-mover champions, most companies, too, appear ill-equipped to address climate risk.

Ill-equipped or paying lip service?

Take Josh Bayliss, CEO of Virgin Group. He said,

“It’s definitely true that right now every one of us should think hard about whether or not we need to take a flight.”

Why doesn’t he close down the airlines in the portfolio? Instead of waiting for his customers to grow a conscience and do the right thing why not force their choice? The obvious answer is that it’s hypocritical.

Yet even our own ASIC feels the need to force the minds of corporates to deal with climate change. Forget the data that shows reporting on the subject has collapsed since 2011 from an already low level because the free market mechanism reveals that pricing to offset such fears simply don’t exist in any meaningful way. The regulator’s wish to enforce reporting only proves it needs to construct a narrative to ward off a problem that doesn’t rate much of mention other than virtue signaling.

Perhaps this urgency to get regulators to pressure corporate leaders showed up with this snippet in the WEF report,

In the World Economic Forum’s survey of business leaders, none of the top 10 risks globally are environmental, suggesting a critical blind spot…industry partners of the World Economic Forum ranked environmental risks higher than business leaders surveyed more broadly…Overall, lack of consistent awareness-raising among business leaders may create first-mover advantages for some, but it also potentially demonstrates the much more concerning overarching risk: that many businesses may not be planning for the physical and financial risks that climate change may have on their activities and across their value chains.

So in plain English that says that the majority of corporates that don’t pay into the WEF’s Davos slush fund are evil and if we can get the governments of the world to force change, its members will be the first beneficiaries of any new climate legislation.

Yes, Global Shapers are merely the rope that the Multistakeholders will use to lynch the rest of us with.

Did spending $1bn more on fire services in 2018-19 just end up in smoke?

Based on a request for further data across more fire services in Australia, it is clear that funding hasn’t been a problem. It seems allocation of those funds must be. As we showed in the NSW RFS and VIC CFA reports, expenditure seemed to be directed at increasing staff in administration accompanied by higher salaries instead of equipment, where numbers went down.

Expenditures, not revenues are a better place to look because more than income, spending denotes actual deployment of capital. Note most of the country’s fire services spend more than they earn so as government entities, the state governments back and fill those budget holes. So what might not appear purely as a direct appropriation from a state government at the start of the year, someone has to shore up the deficit. Note many fire services keep the earnings from fire levies and other quasi-taxation lines so that doesn’t show up in the budget line.

More importantly, were expenses allocated sensibly we could reasonably argue that the so called “budget cuts” the media keeps banging on about clearly weren’t having any impact on their ability to spend an extra $956.4mn over and above the 2014-15 aggregate figure. That’s an average 33% increase.

We looked at 8 fire service across the country and compared 2014-15 spending to the latest 2018-19 published figures. Here are the results.

Fire & Rescue NSW

$674m -> $814m ( +20.7%)

NSW RFS

$311.2m -> $554.8m (+78.2%)

Victorian MFB

$372.5m -> $507.7m (+36.3%)

Victorian CFA

$484.8m -> $656.7m (+35.5%)

Queensland FES

$569.9m -> $724.6m (+27.1%)

WA DFES

$359.8m -> $435.5m (+21%)

SA CFS

$74m -> $89m (+20.4%)

Tasmanian TFS

$76.2m -> $96.6m (+26.8%)

Not a lot of budget crimp in there. If budgets were being so drastically cut no amount of calendars featuring fire fighters clutching puppies would make up the short fall. More than that, state governments would have tried to ratchet back the deficits in the future budgets. Yet they didn’t.

So once again if we look at the direct appropriations from the states as a line item we get:

Fire & Rescue NSW

$603m -> $724m ( +20.1%)

NSW RFS

$149m -> $491m (+329.5%)

Victorian MFB

$325.7m -> $414.3m (+27.2%)

Victorian CFA

$451.2m -> $622.2m (+37.9%)

Queensland FES

$494.7m -> $561.2m (+13.4%)

WA DFES

$303.7m -> $418m (+37.6%)

SA CFS

$74.9m -> $77.4m (+3.3%)

Tasmanian TFS

$57.8m -> $66.8m (+15.6%)

So in every case, government spending (whether state or federal) and the state levies these bodies can charge, went up on 2014/15.

Pity the media keeps jabbing with budget cut narratives when the numbers simply don’t paint that picture.

As we’ve said all along, we need to take a long hard look at who have been making the decisions inside the fire service administrations (not the front line fire fighters) before we start pinning medals to their chests.

Await the arse covering

An interesting report written last year has surfaced which points to woeful mismanagement of the fuel loads in Victoria.

While we continue to applaud the brave efforts of the front line fireys battling these blazes, it is becoming hard to ignore the seeming negligence within the senior administration of the fire services.

We’ve already pointed to the rising fire service budgets and declining numbers of fire fighting equipment deployed. We have highlighted the poor equipment choices made. We have reported on volunteer crews being turned away despite assurances from leaders that “all” help was welcomed. Is it any wonder volunteer numbers have dwindled? We have debunked the myth of the 29 retired fire chiefs bleating about climate change when it has hardly been mentioned at all in the annual reports of the authorities they ran.

The Weekly Times has reported,

Last year ‘The Weekly Times’ attempted to obtain copies of the Fuel-Load Maps for Victoria, showing the Fine-Fuel build up throughout that state from the Victorian Government.

The fine fuels are critical, as according to the ‘Overall Fuel Hazard Assessment Guide’, written by Francis Hines, Kevin Tolhurst and other bushfire experts in 2010 following the Black Saturday fires;

“They (fine fuels) contribute the most to the fire’s rate of spread and flame height. Typically, they are dead plant material, such as leaves, grass, bark and twigs thinner than 6mm thick, and live plant material thinner than 3mm thick, that burn in the continuous flaming zone at the fire’s edge.’’

However, the Victorian Government’s Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning spent months trying to block The Weekly Times’ access to these fuel load maps, repeatedly refusing to release data.

In August last year DELWP staff stated: “The fuel load data is only published to Business Level Data (an internal system)”.

After repeated delays, emails and calls, the DELWP came back almost 12 months later stating;

“This information is not something that DELWP typically provides and the department has some concerns with this information being made publicly accessible”.

Ultimately The Weekly Times lodged a Freedom of Information request for five years of data for the whole state, but cut back the request to one map after DELWP demanded $1294.80 to process the request.

So the rest of the fine-fuel maps remain hidden from the public. I wonder what the maps for the Alpine and Greater Gippsland show.

Back in October, the Vic Opposition emergency services spokesman Brad Battin said the Andrews Government’s “attempt to hide information that has a direct impact on community safety” should concern all who live in high fire-danger areas.

“The only reason the Victorian Labor Government would hide this important data is they have failed to meet their targets to protect Victoria this fire season,” Mr Battin said.

“With levels of fuel at extreme, a predicted dry and hot summer and a reduction in volunteer firefighters we can only say not only has (Premier) Daniel Andrews made you less safe, he now will do anything to hide the truth from you.”

The attempt to hide the maps is a scandal, firstly because the 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission’s recommended that the department “specify the characteristics of fire management zones — including burn size, percentage area burnt within the prescribed burn, and residual fuel loading”.

But as it stands DELWP’s Forest Fire Management Victoria division publishes data only on residual risk, which is derived from a computer model, which gives no detail on fuel loads, which were used in the past.

Secondly, the Royal Commission also recommended the “state fund and commit to implementing a long-term program of prescribed burning based on an annual rolling target of 5 per cent minimum of public land”, equal to 385,000ha annually.

But the Victorian Government abandoned hectare-based targets in 2015, opting for a ‘computer modelled measure of residual risk’ – a model has been roundly condemned by Australia’s leading bushfire scientists.

The Weekly Times has previously reported the former head of CSIRO’s bushfire research unit Phil Cheney has branded residual risk a “load of bulls—”, arguing “fuel load is the only thing that matters”.

Using the Royal Commission’s target of a minimum of 390,000Ha of annual hazard reduction burns across Victoria, the actual planned burnt areas were;

2018-19 : 130,000 Deficit- 260,000

2017-18: 74,728 Deficit- 315,272

2016-17 : 125,052 Deficit- 264,948

2015-16 : 197,940 Deficit- 192,060

That’s a cumulative deficit over the last 4 years under the Victorian Labor government of over one million hectares of land.

Having allowed this massive build up of highly combustible leaves, bark and twigs to new extreme levels – no wonder the green zealots are busy trying to create a distraction claiming ‘’climate change did it’’

As a rule of thumb, the louder someone screams ‘’climate change did it’’ and more they use the strawman argument about ‘’climate change deniers’’ as a distraction- you can bet the more guilty they are for allowing the ‘unprecedented’ build-up of fine fuels in our national parks.”

FNF Media strongly believes that information garnered by taxpayer funding have zero rights to withhold information much less charge for it.

This news piece rates up there with BoM refusing to disclose the methodology which it uses to record data. If it is the gold standard surely there should be nothing to hide and more importantly, something to boast about and sell to the world.

Perhaps ASX listed companies should protest and demand that ASIC allow them to audit their own books. After all “trust us” seems to work for government agencies.

No sacred cows please.

Nearly 50% very concerned. More than 50% not very concerned

Surveys. Surveys. If you ask enough of the right people, you can get an answer to anything. The Australia Institute (TAI) claimed that almost 50% of Aussies are very concerned about climate change. Everything is relative. Or to put it another way, more than 50% aren’t very concerned.

It is worth going back and reminding ourselves of a previous TAI report on climate change published recently and promoted by my local member.

TAI has proposed the idea of a $1/ton carbon tax on fossil fuel companies to put into an independently administered climate disaster fund.

As ever with left-wing think tanks, taxation is the only viable cure to all ills.

On page 37 of the TAI report, it didn’t miss the chance to write a few lines about our poor Pacific neighbours at risk of being inundated by rising sea levels despite a study showing 88.6% of Pacific islands and atolls being stable or growing in size. Who needs evidence when we want a narrative?

Don’t forget one important takeaway. TAI was named as one of the four supposed “experts” prepared to put its name in a Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) report which scored Australia dead last on international and domestic climate policy. Remember this was the mob that handed Australia a 0.0 (zero point zero) score.

Only foaming at the mouth alarmists could derive such a ridiculous total and only a research body with little interest in objectivity would allow it to be included. If you are hunting for credibility, you won’t find it in the CCPI report.

Therefore if this is the standard at the TAI to hand out zero scores, why should we pay the slightest attention to it in terms of policy proposals to mitigate disasters?

The range of claims made in the TAI report speaks to little more than agenda based data gathering with leading questions.

For instance, if Labor was destroyed in the federal election over Adani, how could 73% of Queenslanders possibly want Australia’s coal-fired power stations phased out as soon as possible or gradually? Did the pollsters mistakenly manage to interview Bob Brown’s anti-Adani convoy which skewed the findings?

Energy source rank went Wind (76%), Solar (58%) & Hydro (39%) although nuclear power ranked above coal and gas. Surprise, surprise.  (p.11).

Apparently, 64% of Aussies want to be net-zero emissions by 2050. To do that we’d need to stop all mining, end farming and phase out all fossil-fuel power from transport to power generation. Just think of the UK’s plan to do this. Going to be a bit hard when 85% of British households rely on gas to heat their homes. Will the power grid hold up to a switch to electric heating?

On p.25, TAI makes reference to the Icelandic glacier, Ok, that lost its status 5 years ago. According to the UN Chronicle, “The sudden surging of glaciers is not related to climatic fluctuations, and surges can take place even at times when glaciers retreat. This is the usual behaviour of some glaciers and can not be evidence of an impending surge… unfortunately, direct observations of a change in the movement of a glacier at the onset of a surge are still very rare, and the causes for surges are not yet clear…It should be emphasized that the problem of climate change is extremely difficult to understand, and it has still not been possible to know what factors in the past decades — natural or anthropogenic — have caused the warming. There are still many uncertainties in solving this problem. IPCC estimates are rather wide in their range of accuracy and, therefore, cannot predict with confidence…at least not in the coming decades and centuries.”

So thanks TAI. Your recommendations are not needed.

Turnbull proves to us that he still can’t see what everyone else does

Former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has written an opinion piece in The Guardian and proved beyond all doubt the reasons why he no longer holds the privileged post and how blind the Liberal Party faction that supported him managed to bury their judgment.

Turnbull’s first few paragraphs flush this out. He opined,

Have we now reached the point where at last our response to global warming will be driven by engineering and economics rather than ideology and idiocy?

Ideology? Surely you jest, sir? Do climate skeptics push 17yo pig-tailed truants to peddle their warming religion? Did 31,000 climate skeptics,who question the governance behind the science, fly into COP25 to tell the rest us all how to behave?

Idiocy? One just needs to examine the utter hypocrisy of the climate protestors who can often be seen gorging on fast food made by evil corporations that reinvented single use packaging. Easier still, just follow Hollywood stars who think they can offset their enormous carbon footprints via regular use of private jets, stretched limos and lavish dozen room mansions by eating vegan and sacrificing fashion choice to one tuxedo for a season of gala dinners.

Let us start with the optics before the content.

Turnbull will go down in history as one of the only conservative party politicians to avoid conservative media outlets like the plague. If he looked in the mirror, how far off the Liberal reservation must he have been to have to limit himself to the left-leaning mainstream media even when he was PM?

To choose the climate alarmist Guardian as his platform speaks volumes. Where else would he find an audience that would would be so soft and stroke his ego?

The content of his op ed wasted little time heaping lashings of self-praise on his own record at the top, which frankly is not much to write home about.

We need to plan this carefully – we have to keep energy affordable and reliable as we make the transition. My government’s policy for a national energy guarantee (Neg) integrated emissions reduction and reliability, and would have enabled us to continue to make the switch to renewables without compromising the reliability of the electricity network…if ever there was a crisis not to waste, it is this one. Morrison has the chance now to reinstate the Neg with higher targets. Both he and Josh Frydenberg were among its strongest supporters when I was PM. They abandoned it in the lead-up to an election, to pacify the right wing of the Coalition that sabotaged it in the first place.”

Mr Turnbull, we are a bit curious. How was it Morrison managed to win the election by backing coal in the lead up? Pacifying the right wing or realizing that the real base of the party would never have backed you in 2019 still favour economic wellbeing to virtue signalling? The answer is obvious.

The thought of all these new green jobs. We think you ought to check the ABS for the latest statistics on those wonderful employment opportunities that just don’t exist in green jobs. Turnbull wrote,

The children in Muswellbrook and Singleton will not have to breathe in coal dust and sulphur dioxide from the mines and power stations, and their parents will have jobs in industries that thrive with cheap, green power…We can demonstrate that abundant zero emission energy will create thousands of new jobs that will vastly exceed those lost as coal burning comes to an end.

Annual direct FTE employment in renewable energy activities in Australia was estimated at 17,740 jobs in 2017-18 according to the ABS, a number below that of 2011-12.

Mining, according to the latest ABS stats, employs around 220,000. Electricity, gas and water approximately 131,000.

If we examine Turnbull’s “priority this decade should be our own green new deal in which we generate, as soon as possible, all of our electricity from zero emission sources. If we do, Australia will become a leader in the fight against global warming. And we can do it...” comment one assumes that we don’t have any coal fired generation.

Does Turnbull honestly believe the same amount of power generation could occur if “the degraded landscape of old mines could be covered with solar panels”? And at lower cost?

This is the trend of Australian energy price inflation and manufacturing jobs over the last two decades. Notice anything? A correlation of about 90%. Energy prices go up, manufacturing comes down. We have shed 250,000 manufacturing jobs in the last two decades. 

Germany gives us a wonderful case study on how a renewables based energy system has backfired spectacularly.

In 2007, Germany forecasted that 2020 residential electricity prices would be approximately 16 Eurocents with the shift to renewables away from nuclear. Today they trade at c.31 Eurocents. Der Spiegel, a normally left-leaning journal wrote in a two-part series. 

Part 1 – Germany Failure on the Road to a Renewable Future

“But the sweeping idea has become bogged down in the details of German reality. The so-called Energiewende, the shift away from nuclear in favour of renewables, the greatest political project undertaken here since Germany’s reunification, is facing failure. In the eight years since Fukushima, none of Germany’s leaders in Berlin have fully thrown themselves into the project, not least the chancellor. Lawmakers have introduced laws, decrees and guidelines, but there is nobody to coordinate the Energiewende, much less speed it up. And all of them are terrified of resistance from the voters, whenever a wind turbine needs to be erected or a new high-voltage transmission line needs to be laid out.”

Germany’s Federal Court of Auditors is even more forthright about the failures. The shift to renewables, the federal auditors say, has cost at least 160 billion euros in the last five years. Meanwhile, the expenditures “are in extreme disproportion to the results, Federal Court of Auditors President Kay Scheller said last fall, although his assessment went largely unheard in the political arena. Scheller is even concerned that voters could soon lose all faith in the government because of this massive failure.

There is also such an irony when these mad green schemes encounter scourge from animal rights groups. Former Green’s leader Bob Brown knows the feeling,

“The bird of prey [red kite], with its elegantly forked tail, enjoys strict protection in Germany…Red kites are migratory, returning from the south in the spring, but they don’t return reliably every year. The mayor would have been happy if the bird had shown up quickly so its flight patterns could be analyzed and plans for the wind park adjusted accordingly. It would have been expensive, but at least construction of the project could finally get underway.

But if the bird doesn’t return, the project must be suspended. Spies has to wait a minimum of five years to see if the creature has plans for the nest after all. Which means the wind park could finally be built in 2024, fully 12 years after the project got underway.”

Part 2 – German Failure on the Road to a Renewable Future

An additional factor exacerbating the renewables crisis is the fact that two decades after the enactment of the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG), 20-year guaranteed feed-in tariffs will begin expiring next year for the first wind, solar and biomass facilities. Some of those who installed solar panels back then — often farmers and homeowners — are still receiving 50 cents for every kilowatt-hour they feed into the grid. Today, larger facilities receive just 5 cents per kilowatt-hour.

The state has redistributed gigantic sums of money, with the EEG directing more than 25 billion euros each year to the operators of renewable energy facilities. But without the subsidies, operating wind turbines and solar parks will hardly be worth it anymore. As is so often the case with such subsidies: They trigger an artificial boom that burns fast and leaves nothing but scorched earth in their wake.

That doesn’t include the 360,000 German households in energy poverty. That is those people who can’t afford their electricity bills and have power to their homes cut off. Australia already has 42,000 in energy poverty,

Our electricity prices are among the highest in the world but Mr Turnbull believes he has the solution by getting rid of reliable coal-fired baseload in favour of solar panels, wind farms and battery storage, all heavily reliant on the very fossil fuels he wants to be terminated.

Yet Mr Turnbull believes that we can ditch coal because it is going out of fashion.

But above all we have to face this fact; coal is on the way out. It is, as we are seeing today, a matter of life and death. Whether we like it or not, demand for our export coal is going to decline and expire.

The world must, and I believe will, stop burning coal if we are to avoid the worst consequences of global warming. And the sooner the better. The good news is that thanks to technology we can have abundant energy which is both green and cheap.

Is it on the way out? Is that why China has 300-500 new coal-fired power plants in the works with a further 17 coal mines to be opened? Is that why India is keen to build out Adani? Even Germany is backtracking on coal fired power plant closures because it knows its grid can’t cope without it.

He closed with,

But the lies of the deniers have to be rejected. This is a time for truth telling, not obfuscation and gaslighting. Climate change is real…our response must be real too – a resilient, competitive, net zero emission economy – as we work to make our nation, and our planet, safe for our children and grandchildren.

He even suggests a world where we’re all driving EVs. While we aren’t sure whether Mr Turnbull owns a Tesla himself, he should know that the energy that goes to make the batteries is equivalent to the car doing 150,000km of CO2-e emissions before it leaves the showroom floor. Don’t forget the stress on the grid to charge all these cars. Who needs the reality of EV infrastructure rollouts across the Nullarbor which are powered by diesel gen sets? Mr Turnbull, any ideas? Run a cable from Snowy 2.0?

It is sad to see a former leader still feel he has a voice on a subject matter his party rejected based on economics. We already spend a fortune on green energy. We are pulling our weight as a Top 3 per capita nation on energy spend. In real terms we spent 2x more than France in 2019. We can only hope PM Morrison doesn’t fold from the poor media advice during the bushfires and see Turnbull’s endorsement as a sign to do the exact opposite.

Greta Thunberg issues Roger Federer a code violation.

The 17yo pigtailed truant has taken to shaming tennis superstar Roger Federer for being a Credit Suisse ambassador because of the bank’s involvement in financing fossil fuel companies.

Activists launched the hashtag #Rogerwakeupnow on Twitter to hit the 20-title Grand Slam winner.

The article notes

According to Greta, the bank would be the largest investor in fossil fuel companies with more than $7.8 billion annually shared among more than 40 companies that most contaminate the planet.”

Sorry Greta, forget trying to get him to ditch CS. Demand he stop flying to tournaments around the world.

Federer said in response,

“I take the impacts and threat of climate change very seriously, particularly as my family and I arrive in Australia amid devastation from the bush fire…As the father of four young children and a fervent supporter of universal education, I have a great deal of respect and admiration for the youth climate movement, and I am grateful to young climate activists for pushing us all to examine our behaviours and act on innovative solutions…We owe it to them and ourselves to listen…I appreciate reminders of my responsibility as a private individual, as an athlete and as an entrepreneur, and I’m committed to using this privileged position to dialogue on important issues with my sponsors.

What a woefully soft and pithy stance. The only noble action is to stop playing tennis with multiple carbon rackets and clothes made from the fossil fuel industry. Perhaps he should give all of his fossil fuel derived sponsorship and tourney winnings to the UN so they can best advise him on how to save the planet.

Maybe Federer should educate Greta and her young activist mates on the following when reflecting on the recklessness of the older generations…or not…

At the store check out, the young cashier suggested to the much older lady that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags are not good for the environment.

The woman apologized to the young girl and explained, “We didn’t have this ‘green thing’ back in my earlier days.”

The young clerk responded, “That’s our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment for future generations.”

The older lady said that she was right our generation didn’t have the “green thing” in its day. The older lady went on to explain: Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled.

But we didn’t have the “green thing” back in our day. Grocery stores bagged our groceries in brown paper bags that we reused for numerous things. Most memorable besides household garbage bags was the use of brown paper bags as book covers for our school books. This was to ensure that public property (the books provided for our use by the school) was not defaced by our scribblings. Then we were able to personalize our books on the brown paper bags.

But, too bad we didn’t do the “green thing” back then. We walked up stairs because we didn’t have an escalator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn’t climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks. But she was right. We didn’t have the “green thing” in our day.

Back then we washed the baby’s diapers because we didn’t have the throw-away kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy-gobbling machine burning up 220 volts. Wind and solar power really did dry our clothes back in our early days.

Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing. But that young lady is right; we didn’t have the “green thing” back in our day.
Back then we had one TV, or radio, in the house — not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of the state of Montana.

In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn’t have electric machines to do everything for us.

When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used wadded up old newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.

Back then, we didn’t fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power.

We exercised by working so we didn’t need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity. But she’s right; we didn’t have the “green thing” back then.

We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water. We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blade in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull. But we didn’t have the “green thing” back then.

Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service in the family’s $45,000 SUV or van, which cost what a whole house did before the “green thing.”

We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn’t need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 23,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest burger joint.
But isn’t it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn’t have the “green thing” back then?

Please forward this on to another selfish old person who needs a lesson in conservation from a smart ass young person. We don’t like being old in the first place, so it doesn’t take much to piss us off… Especially from a tattooed, multiple pierced smartass who can’t make change without the cash register telling them how much.

Once again it only highlights how the current generation believe that they’re smarter than the previous one as well as the one that will follow them.

As for Mr Federer. New balls please.