Friday, April 07, 2017


In his latest offering, conservative Australian cartoonist ZEG thinks that the world is obsessed with trivialities

Battery Baloney: Playing Snakes and Ladders with Australia’s Electricity Supply

Every day some green energy promoter or a battery salesman tells us how green energy with battery backup will supply Australia’s future electricity needs.

A battery stores energy. Energy can be stored using lead-acid, nickel/cadmium, lithium, molten salt, pumped hydro, hydrogen, flywheels, compressed air or some other smart gizmo. But NOT ONE battery produces new energy – they simply store and discharge energy produced by other means. They all deliver less energy than they consume. Moreover, to manufacture, charge, use and dispose of batteries consumes energy and resources.

The idea of producing reliable grid power from intermittent green energy backed up by batteries looks possible in green doodle-diagrams, but would be absurdly inefficient and expensive.

Solar works a Six hour day

Consider a solar panel which is rated to collect say 100 units of energy per day at full capacity, in full mid-day sunlight, with a clean panel, properly aligned to face the sun.

No solar energy arrives overnight and only minimal amounts arrive during the three hours after dawn or before dusk. That means that significant solar energy can only be collected for about 6 hours per day, providing it is not cloudy, raining or snowing. No amount of research or regulation will change this – the solar energy union only works a six-hour day and takes quite a few sickies. So instead of feeding 100 units of energy per day into the grid, at best, the panel supplies just 25 units.

Can the addition of batteries give us 24/7 power from solar?

To deliver 100 units of energy in 24 hours will require an extra 75 units of energy to be collected, stored and delivered by the batteries every sunny day. This will require another three solar units devoted solely to re-charging batteries in just 6 sunny hours.

Cloudy/wet days are what really expose the problems of solar plus batteries. (This is why isolated green power systems must have a diesel generator in the shed.)

To insure against, say, 7 days of cloudy weather would require a solar/battery system capable of collecting and storing 700 units of energy while still delivering 100 units to consumers every day. However if several consecutive weeks of sunny weather then occur, this bloated system is capable of delivering 7 times more power than needed, causing power prices to plunge, driving reliable generators out of business and wasting the life of solar panels producing unwanted electricity.

Solar energy obviously does best in sunny equatorial deserts, but that is not where most people live. And the huge Desertec Solar Power Dream for the northern Sahara has failed.

The report card on wind energy is different, but equally depressing.

When Australia had reliable, predictable coal-gas-hydro power in every state, the need for heavy interstate transmission was minimal. But green power will require robust and costly interstate transmission facilities to send large amounts of power at short notice from sunny coal-rich Queensland to cloudy Victoria, windless South Australia or droughted Tasmania.

We are told that wind/solar plus pumped water storage will provide adequate grid power. Unfortunately those huge hydro-pumps need steady continuous power – something not provided by intermittent green energy. So are the zero-emissions politicians planning to install huge chemical batteries or diesel motors to steadily re-charge the elevated water storages in order to get back less energy than was consumed by the pumps?

Both wind and solar are unpredictable, unreliable, intermittent and weather-dependent energy sources. They require large collection areas with a cob-web of access roads and transmission lines. Their output can change suddenly and cannot be managed easily to meet demand fluctuations. They need flexible backup power able to swing in quickly to maintain stability and supply.

Gas provides the easiest back-up for green energy, but gas exploration is banned in many areas of NSW, SAust and the whole of gas-rich Victoria. Canny residents of the green states are now investing in diesel generators.

Mother Earth has already given us the perfect solar battery for long-term storage of energy: it is called "Coal". Solar power from sunlight is converted by photosynthesis into wood, and thence into coal for high-density long-term solar energy storage. The downside to this system is that it has tied up large quantities of carbon that is therefore unavailable to the natural world. The upside is that releasing the energy from coal also releases life-giving CO2 back into the biosphere, where it belongs.

Our growing energy crisis was caused by political interference – Australian politicians have not learned last century’s lessons of central planning in the comrade societies.

Robert Gottliebsen writing in "The Australian" 21/3/2017 puts it succinctly:

"The looming crisis is much worse than I expected. Three state governments, Victoria, NSW and South Australia, have vandalised our total energy system. The Premiers of each state clearly had no idea what they were doing. . ."

He also wrote: "My information from the best possible sources is that if Victoria’s Hazelwood power station is shut on April 2, there is a 75% chance of blackouts in NSW and Victoria next summer."

The best solution would be to cease all government force-feeding of intermittent green energy, get politicians out of the energy business and allow the construction of any gas/coal/nuclear or hydro plants that stack up for energy companies, investors and consumers. This will eliminate all the land-loss, materials and labour involved in building, running and maintaining an unreliable, unpredictable, uneconomic, intermittent and absurdly expensive solar/wind/battery/hydro/diesel monstrosity?"

Intermittent energy with batteries or back-up should be used and paid for by those who find them useful. They should not be subsidised or forced onto power grids or reluctant consumers.

Society has better things to do with community cash than squandering it on massive green energy toys and battery baloney.


Multiculturalism comes to Rockhampton

Rockhampton is a small city in regional Queensland.  Even Bangladeshis look down on Burmese Rohingyas

Muslim refugee and expert halal butcher accused of murdering and decapitating his fishing buddy 'could kill animals with one cut to the neck'

The headless body of Syeid Alam was found in a tidal creek running into the Fitzroy River at Rockhampton last April after he failed to return from one of his regular fishing trips with Mohammed Khan.

The men, both Burmese Rohingya refugees, had met in immigration detention and had been employed at the local meatworks and were housemates for two years.

'I would describe us a friends,' Khan said in an affidavit sworn on March 8. 'I was saddened and shocked to hear about Syeid's death.'

A search was sparked when Mr Alam's tearful wife contacted police, concerned about his absence. Ten days later SES volunteers made a gruesome discovery.

'Observations of the torso indicated that the victim's head had been decapitated and the body was in an advanced state of decomposition,' Brisbane Supreme Court documents state.

Nearby, a small tomahawk and an item wrapped in black jeans were found. 'The item appeared to be of similar size, shape and weight as a human head,' the documents state.

It was confirmed as such in an autopsy, which also revealed Mr Alam's head was severed with a small axe or similar weapon.

The major wound, however, was to the front of Mr Alam's neck and the incision was caused by a sharp blade, the documents state.

In a number of witness statements, Osman Chena, the head halal slaughterman at the meatworks where Mr Alam and Khan were employed, describes how he taught the accused murderer to efficiently slit the throat of animals.

Khan, who had worked there for about four years, was 'very practised' and could usually kill an animal with one quick cut, Mr Chena said. 'The cut severs the windpipe, both arteries and weasand (gullet),' court documents state. 'The actual cut takes only one second.'

Proficient halal slaughtermen, such as Khan, were also good at avoiding blood flow, Mr Chena said.

About six months before Mr Alam was killed he told his wife, Ferdous Ferdous, he couldn't afford to support the family and had lost between $20,000 and $30,000 gambling. 'She states that (he) gambled a lot with other Rohingyans,' court documents said.

Another witness, Nor Alam, met Khan and the victim in a card-playing group, and he stated Mr Alam owed him 'a few hundred dollars'.

It's expected 68 witnesses, including friends, family, co-workers and forensic experts, will be involved in legal proceedings.

The 35-year-old, who is in custody, maintains his innocence and was expected to face Rockhampton Magistrates Court on Wednesday afternoon.


Happily never after: 'Gender bias' fairytales facing the chop

"Children as young as four years old can show signs of sexist behaviour".  They sure can.  But it is inborn.  Even mothers of toddlers will often refer to their son as "my little man" -- indicating a recognition of sex-specific behaviour even at that young age.

Much loved fairytales and toys are at risk of being chopped from Victoria’s public schools after they were accused of promoting gender stereotypes.

The Respectful Relationship program wants the likes of Cinderella, Snow White and Rapunzel analysed and compared to modern stories that challenge gender norms.

The program argues that traditional tales can create unrealistic standards as well as a "sense of entitlement in boys and lower self-esteem in girls".

Children are set to play a decisive role in what gets the chop too, acting as "fairytale detectives" to compare the roles of male and female characters in their favourite stories.

It’s a message that is set to go begging on the young audience, according to one Melbourne teacher. "I would rather be teaching them how to read, write and count," the teacher told News Corp.  "We really don’t need to crowd out the curriculum with this social engineering."

The controversial program, which claims children as young as four years old can show signs of sexist behaviour, was introduced on the advice of the royal commission in to family violence.

"Men are supposed to be strong and brave and women are supposed to be beautiful and need rescuing by men," children are taught according to the study.

"If a man or woman does not fit this description, they are usually made out to be the ‘baddies’ or the villain — like a witch or an evil prince."

The program also encourages discussion of "gender bias statements" such as "good morning, princess", "boys don’t cry" and "girls can’t play with trucks".

The concept has so far been met with heavy criticism, with many insisting it is unethical to subject children to such political discussion at such a young age.

"My concern as an educator is, there is no real balance in the program. It is pushing a cultural left argument," Australian Catholic University senior research fellow Dr Kevin Donnelly said.


Preschools focus on non-gendered play "to eliminate family violence"

Early childhood teachers will be encouraged to intervene in "gendered­ play", identify toys and books that reinforce gender ster­eo­­types and avoid gender-specific language under a Victorian govern­ment plan to tackle family violence through preschools.

Teachers will also be asked to reflect on their own "conscious and unconscious biases", "unpack their understanding of gender and gender identity" and avoid using terms such as "good morning princess" or "boys don’t cry".

Fresh details of the respectful relationships training the government plans to provide to 4000 preschool teachers have emerged, with the public release of a professional learning kit that was used in a trial late last year.

As The Australian reported last month, the Victorian Department of Education is seeking a provider to further develop and deliver training to boost the capacity of early childhood educators to imple­ment respectful relationships into their programs.

The $3.4 million initiative is part of the Andrews Labor government’s $21.8m Respectful Rela­tion­ships education package for schools, inspired by the Royal Commission into Family Violence and set to be rolled out to schools over the next two years.

Challenging gender stereotypes appears to be the centrepiece of the preschool program.

"Do you critically reflect on or intentionally observe gendered play?" trainers were instructed to ask participants. "Can you or have you worked with children to devel­op different storylines in their play? Have you intervened to change gendered play?"

According to the training kit, evidence suggested that strict ­adherence to gender stereotypes contributed to gender-based and family violence, of which most victims were women. "As rigid attit­udes toward gender are shifted through respectful relationships education, evidence suggests that family violence will reduce," it said.

However, critics of the program have queried its preoccupation with masculinity and gender stereo­types, particularly when applied­ to children as young as three or four years of age.

As the federal government’s own guidelines on infant and childhood developmental milestones point out, a typical three-year-old can label their own gender and demonstrate knowledge of gender-role stereotypes.

By four or five, a child may show a stronger preference for same-sex playmates, may have been seen reinforcing gender-role norms with peers and may show bouts of aggression with peers.

All behaviours are considered developmentally normal.

Centre for Independent Studies senior research fellow Jennifer Buckingham described the program as "objectionable". "Firstly, no evidence is provided to show that gender norms are the key contributor to domestic violence and that this can be fixed by ­encouraging kids to play with gender­-neutral toys," she said.

"Secondly, it is pretty patronising to preschool teachers to think they have to be trained out of having unconscious gender biases."

Dr Buckingham said research had shown that behavioural issues in preschoolers, such as aggression, were often the result of poor oral language skills.

Opposition spokeswoman for early childhood Georgie Crozier said there was "something truly Orwellian in auditing children’s toys and games in kindergartens".

Early Childhood Minister Jenny Mikakos said the program would give teachers the tools to treat children equally, and to help them build politically correct healthy friendships.


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

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