Wednesday, 15 June 2022

Rolling blackouts are

being forecast as we struggle to work out how to reach that supposedly magical "net zero" point considered so important by so many.

It is winter in Downunder. The state I live in gets quite cool but we almost never see snow - and then only for a day or so at a time in the hills behind me.  I can add another woolly layer and, due to my mother's foresight we have a gas cook top. "If the power fails I can still make something hot," was her argument. It's a good one. 

And I am fortunate that I still live in a house. I am not living in a caravan or a tent or living rough. I have that extra woolly layer - and the Senior Cat's ancient quilt if I need it. 

Of course, in a blackout, I would not be writing this or thinking about the responses to this morning's batch of work emails. (They would be unread but are now already downloaded. I was thinking about them as I had breakfast too.)

But should we really be having these problems? We have some of the largest sources of potential energy in the world - coal, gas, uranium, hydro-electricity. We export coal, gas and uranium to countries who use those things as their sources of power. Here we are closing down coal fired power stations - and yes we should. They are old and dirty. We are attempting to do the same with gas - which is in short supply because we export much of it. Nuclear power has been a no-no-no in Downunder for more years than I care to remember - even while we are happy for other countries to use the uranium we mine. 

No, we are supposedly going along the "renewables" path. Nobody is actually dare mentioning we might fail to reach the end, the holy grail of 100% renewable energy that is safe, secure, genuinely sustainable, efficient, and environmentally sound. 

The reality of course is that we won't. Without reliable sources of power the modern world cannot operate. People are going to have to do without heating in winter, cooling in summer, the endless use of private means of transport. The use of electricity in other places and for other purposes would have to be cut back - in some cases drastically.  The cost would be massive.

I note the Greens in parliament are apparently happy to fly to the nation's capital when parliament sits. They use cars, computers and mobile phones, heating and lighting. At least one of them has a diesel vehicle.

Those who are demanding we look to nothing but renewable sources of energy keep telling me nuclear power is not an option. It is "too expensive" as well. Really? Why should that stop all research into the issue - look at fusion instead of fission and how to recycle the "waste" perhaps? It may be that we actually have to do something about it - and do something about it in the not too distant future. I doubt many people are going to say, "Oh good, a power cut. That means we are doing the right thing and saving the environment."

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