Laughs, lies & lights out

by JOHN MIKKELSEN – OH THE irony. Here I was reading our local Noosa newspaper last Saturday morning and laughing when the power started to blink off and on half a dozen times before finally cutting out completely. 

And staying off for about five hours in our beachside suburb. No lightning strike, no strong winds, just rain. 

Albo’s promise of a $275 reduction in electricity prices by 2025 turned out to be “aspirational”, rather than a firm undertaking. Even though he repeated it more than 90 times.
John Mikkelsen
Freelance Writer & Author

Back to the newspaper and what I found unintentionally amusing – a long rambling letter from a local perpetual climate worrier attacking another correspondent for having the temerity and good sense to defend nuclear energy in the quest for “net-zero”.

This was followed by a regular column from Zero Emissions Noosa (ZEN) plugging its guide, Rewiring Noosa – Electrify Everything.

DREAMERS

This group, with the backing of Noosa Shire Council, has far outdone even the most ambitious green dreamers, including Climate Change Minister Chris “Blackout” Bowen, and his boss, PM Anthony “My Word is My Bond” Albanese.

Forget 2050 or even a target of 82 per cent renewables by 2030, ZEN’s aim is to achieve net-zero here in our beautiful slice of paradise by 2026!

Presumably the hordes of domestic and international tourists visiting throughout the year will all arrive on electric buses which we don’t yet have.

They will then tour the hinterland, the Noosa River and lakes, the local Everglades (one of only two in the world) and our northern beaches up to Double Island Point in electric cars, boats, bikes and buggies.

Great! Just don’t run out of charge in the wilderness.

According to ZEN, switching everything to electric – all appliances, cars etc – will reduce household costs by up to 50 per cent and help save the planet.

Its guide for residents covers “eight different technologies and strategies, including rooftop solar systems, heat pump hot water systems, pool pumps and heaters, home batteries, electric vehicles and energy monitoring and control systems”.

Gas stoves are obviously a no-no under this plan, so prepare for cold salads for dinner when the lights (and electric stoves) go out.

And with soaring electricity prices, even with our 20 rooftop solar panels which produce zilch on cloudy days – of which there are many – I find that forecast cost saving, or any cost saving, hard to believe.

Just like Albo’s promised “$275 reduction in electricity prices by 2025” which turned out to be “aspirational” rather than a firm undertaking. Even though he repeated it more than 90 times in the lead-up to the last federal election.

But don’t take my word for it – I’ll hand over to the ABC’s financial guru and collective climate change believer Alan Kohler from a recent article in The New Daily.

Kohler says that a previous free trade consensus has fractured, “as nations desperately try to hang onto jobs in the great transition to renewable energy.

“Unfortunately, Australia is bringing a pocketknife to a gunfight. Nevertheless, the investment in renewable energy has been ramping up lately, and it has to.

DRAMATIC

“Investment has been falling well short of what’s needed to meet the government’s target of 82 per cent and without a dramatic increase in effort and spending, Australia and the world are going to fall well short of net-zero by 2050 and will exceed the Paris target of 1.5 degrees of warming, probably quite soon…

“In the Pathway to New Zero published in 2021, the International Energy Agency put the annual energy investment needed at US$5 trillion by 2030. That’s per year…

“As for Australia’s capital requirement, the outgoing head of the Net Zero Economy Agency, Greg Combet, told the National Press Club last week that ‘hundreds of billions of dollars will be needed to achieve net-zero in Australia by 2050”.

“In July last year, a research organisation called Net Zero Australia (a collaboration between the Melbourne University, Queensland University, Princeton and Nous Group) put the cost for Australia at $9 trillion by 2060, or hundreds of billions every year for 36 years.

“All the cheerleading about the benefits of the energy transition shouldn’t disguise the fact that what we’re all trying to do here is prevent a global catastrophe and the way things are going, we might not succeed, or only half succeed.

FAIL

“In short, getting to net-zero will be a cost not a benefit, and the less it costs us now, the more likely it will be to fail, so the higher the cost later.

“I understand the political and business impulse to talk it up and tell us that everything’s going to be terrific, with a future made in Australia etc, because if they told us the truth we’d all line up at a bridge or tall building and jump off.”

Well if Kohler is right and Bowen and Albo are wrong, better take a torch – there’s a fair chance the lights will be out on the bridge or the tall building.

It might be safer just to wait for reality to bite and follow other nations transitioning to clean green modern nuclear energy.PC

John Mikkelsen

John Mikkelsen is a former editor of three Queensland regional newspapers, columnist, freelance writer and author of the Amazon Books memoir, Don’t Call Me Nev
MAIN PHOTOGRAPH:  Chris Bowen. (courtesy Sky News)

4 thoughts on “Laughs, lies & lights out

  1. “If you don’t like our policies, don’t vote for us!”
    Those were the words of our current Minister for High Energy Prices, Chris ‘Blackouts’ Bowen in 2019 that lost the ‘unlosable’ election for Bill Shorten and the ALP.
    They may well also lose the next election for the ALP-Greens given Bowen’s total mishandling of his Energy and Climate Change portfolio.
    His latest claim on the cost of transitioning Australia’s power grid to meet his net zero targets has been totally refuted by experts who state that he has underestimated the cost by something in the vicinity of $100 billion!
    He is the ultimate ‘loser’ and should be relegated to the back benches as a matter of urgency.

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  2. The recent report from The Grattan Inst makes interesting reading. Grattan say they are an independent think tank, they missed out Labor in between the first two words.
    The report says the pathway to net zero as designed by ‘Blackout’ is a mess, a big mess and it is highly likely that blackout and brownouts will occur in a couple of years.
    Why should we be surprised? The man in charge with the lofty title of Minister for Climate Change has political ‘form’, and it’s all bad.
    He has failed at everything he has been involved in.
    No doubt he has his current position because of the Labor Caucus, which seldom considers ability and never in this case.
    The provision of electricity and gas in this country now and in the future is in the hands of a loyal Labor man and a proven failure throughout his career.
    This must never happen again.

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  3. Good to see a lefty like Alan Kohler (aren’t they all on the ABC?) pointing out the ridiculously high costs involved in the relentless push for ‘renewables’ and net zero. I wonder if your ZEN and Noosa council would approve of an array of towering wind turbines on the cliffs along the scenic National Park seafront to meet their impossible target ? Doubt it…

  4. Fair dinkum John, who would believe a town or council thinking they can get to “net zero” by 2026 – let alone 2050, but the links are there for all to see. To quote Darryl Kerrigan from The Castle, ” Tell ‘im he’s dreamin’ ” Tell Chris Bowen and Albo too!

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