Not back but

Spartacus is not back, but Spartacus is taking advantage of a legacy advantage.

The Managing Director and Editor in Chief of the Catallaxy Broadcasting Corporation, Sinclair, has not yet confiscated Spartacus’ keys to the executive washroom.  As such, Spartacus will take the opportunity to post a quick comment and a question.

Comment

To suggest that renewable energy is price competitive to non-renewable energy is like saying the cost of pumping unprocessed sewerage and storm water to the tap is the same as the cost of pumping clean and treated water to the tap.  Both are liquids, but rational people would only want the clean and treated variety.

People want electricity when they want it and not when the sun shines and the wind blows.  To price in renewable energy availability, via batteries or Snowy 2.0, and then to remove subsidies makes renewables not so price competitive.  You know, like the additional cost of treating and processing sewerage.

Question.

Why, if it is bad to expel LGBTI kids and sack LGBTI teachers from religious schools, especially when they are at tax payer subsidised schools, is it ok to ban non-indigenous students from an indigenous student’s computer room, especially when such computer room is a tax payer subsidised facility?

Riddle me this.

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36 Responses to Not back but

  1. Ted

    Welcome back Spartacus. More please.

  2. CameronH

    You should stop with the fiction that private schools are subsidised by the taxpayer. The people who send their children to private schools are most likely the people who pay the most taxes. A significant proportion of their taxes goes to fund public schools which they do not benefit from. The best way to fix all of this nonsense is to introduce a voucher system which people can use to offset their school fees. Public schools would accept these vouchers as full payment while private and religious schools could charge whatever extra fees on top of these they like based on a demand for their school from parents.

  3. The renewables comment is exactly what I’d have written if I was a better wordsmith.
    Thanks Spartacus.

  4. WolfmanOz

    Welcome back Spartacus – I always enjoy reading your articles/blogs etc.

  5. Roger

    Why, if it is bad to expel LGBTI kids and sack LGBTI teachers from religious schools, especially when they are at tax payer subsidised schools, is it ok to ban non-indigenous students from an indigenous student’s computer room, especially when such computer room is a tax payer subsidised facility?

    Because we are transitioning from a liberal democracy focused on individual rights and responsibilities to a tribal society where some tribes are privileged over others.

  6. Old School Conservative

    Great comeback article Sparrtacus.
    Your riddle is wrapped inside the conundrum of people wanting “free stuff” even though it is less than if they had worked to make a profit.

  7. RobK

    Regarding electricity; you are quite right that in a rational world, dispatchable and non-dispatchable energy are not of the same utility and either non-dispatchable should be suitably “firmed” to participate or it should pay a levy to the dispatchable counter part to be on standby. The carbon gremlin is the offender and it is costly.
    The schools thing is another issue that wasnt and shouldn’t be an issue….just like boys and girls.

  8. Up The Workers!

    Spartacus, I can see no problem at all with the conundrum you pose…particularly if the party making these rules, is a totalitarian bunch of clue-phobic, decency-phobic, racist hypocrites – and the absence of a viable, sustainable and affordable form of electricity means that they won’t even need to see who they have let into the schoolroom, or what they are getting up to in the darkness.

    The Party you seek, is the same one which originally introduced the “White Australia Policy” into Australia, and given that they still cannot even muster up the collective intelligence to spell their own Party name correctly, they are beyond educating, in the first place.

  9. Shy Ted

    Things have gotten worse while you’ve been away IAS. I know it seems unlikely nay impossible but it’s true.

  10. manalive

    The total cost of 100% renewable energy including pumped hydro in Australia is estimated here to be a mere $1.1 trillion.

    I say it’s not ok to ban in both cases.

  11. stackja

    Why, if it is bad to expel LGBTI kids and sack LGBTI teachers from religious schools, especially when they are at tax payer subsidised schools, is it ok to ban non-indigenous students from an indigenous student’s computer room, especially when such computer room is a tax payer subsidised facility?

    The SMH made up the story about “expel LGBTI kids and sack LGBTI teachers from religious schools” supposedly from Ruddock report. SMH likes to make up stories. Ask Ben Roberts-Smith. And SMH reported TA punched a wall.

  12. The BigBlueCat

    CameronH
    #2847297, posted on October 23, 2018 at 8:58 am
    You should stop with the fiction that private schools are subsidised by the taxpayer. The people who send their children to private schools are most likely the people who pay the most taxes. A significant proportion of their taxes goes to fund public schools which they do not benefit from. The best way to fix all of this nonsense is to introduce a voucher system which people can use to offset their school fees. Public schools would accept these vouchers as full payment while private and religious schools could charge whatever extra fees on top of these they like based on a demand for their school from parents.

    Private schools receive the equivalent of funding to public schools per student, with parents making up the cost and development shortfalls via their direct fees and building fund contributions. It is fair for private schools to receive the same funding per student that the public system enjoys on the basis that parents (generally) contribute to state spending via their taxes (GST, duties, non-income taxes, etc) and that each student should receive the same basic funding from the state. Gonski aimed to change the formula to include “needs” whereby schools with greater “needs” should receive more funding per student.

    The left latched onto this by saying the private sector didn’t have the same “needs” requirement since parents pay fees. That the state had neglected certain public schools for ongoing maintenance and development is not the fault of the private sector, so why should private schools be punished by reducing funding to those schools? The left will predictably say that if parents can afford to send their kids to private schools, then they can afford to pay for everything. Pure fallacy.

    It’s important to note that public schools are expected to comply with the education curriculum as set out by the state education departments, but it seems many adopt the International Baccalaureate as their education outcomes.

    In my (albeit limited) experience, private schools provide a much better education environment because parents have a direct financial stake in their childrens’ education (and therefore expect better outcomes), whereas the public system leaves the outcomes essentially with the student. While the state system can throw up some high achievers, the private system is generally much better at it than the public system. IMO.

    But why do I mention all of this? There are many that claim that since private schools receive public funding, then they need to comply with all state policies. But the funding isn’t based on state policies other than an equitable distribution of funding per student, not on what social policies the school adheres to where those policies divert from the state’s. That’s called freedom. The left don’t like freedom – but they love compliance. Again, IMO.

    Go tell the Islamic schools they can’t discriminate against LGBTIQ+ students and teachers and see how far you get!

  13. BoyfromTottenham

    Spartacus, thanks for your post. Re your ‘People want electricity when they want it and not when the sun shines and the wind blows.’. This gives me an idea – publish (preferably daily) a graph of RE output in their state and show them the periods when RE generation is below say 50, 25 and 10% of nameplate output. Then ask the (or tell) readers how their lives would be affected if this was the only power that they got from the grid. This might just help them visualise what brownouts, load shedding, and blackouts might actually mean – like ‘no soy latte when I want one?’.

  14. Rafe Champion

    You are a bigoted right wingnut fascist racist deplorable knuckle dragging cretin. Why don’t you fuck off and die in a stinking disk of sewage effluent with all your fascist racist genocidal bigoted buddies. You exploit children, coloured people, people with indeterminate genders and Arabs. You have raped the environment, cut down the forests, polluted the rivers and seas and your very breath is contributing to irreversible catastrophic global warming and cooling. You have night to live in a decent community, to vote, to speak, to write, to be listened to, to be heard, to be read, to be seen, touched, smelled or tasted. You are like all the other criminally insane subhuman racists and bigots who swim in this sewer.

    Just testing. I always wondered if it makes you feel good to think like that:)

  15. FelixKruell

    Why, if it is bad to expel LGBTI kids and sack LGBTI teachers from religious schools, especially when they are at tax payer subsidised schools, is it ok to ban non-indigenous students from an indigenous student’s computer room, especially when such computer room is a tax payer subsidised facility?

    Because apparently discrimination is solely determined by your tribe’s power relative to others?

    Discrimination based on skin colour? Okay if it’s against powerful whites. Bad against all others. Discrimination based on sexuality? Okay if it’s against powerful straights. Bad against all others.
    Discrimination based on gender? Okay if it’s against powerful men. Bad against all others.

  16. Fred

    I remember reading about the QUT case on Green Left Weekly.

    “…a bunch of over-entitled QUT students who refused to respect an Aboriginal-only computer lab room.”

    There you have it.

  17. manalive

    Until about 150 years ago bloodletting was used by physicians to treat almost every disease but killed many patients in the process.
    Of course deaths were attributed to not enough blood being purged, a perfect analogy for renewables mania.
    Of all people you would expect someone with a degree and practicing in medicine, Karen Phelps, would be an utmost empiricist, someone who would assess matters on evidence and that evidence from around the world is: the more wind and solar generation the higher the cost.
    Whether you are a believer or not, renewables will be ruinous, not least because the energy return on energy invested is below the economically-viable threshold.

  18. Perplexed of Brisbane

    The Big Blue Cat – I was under the impression that private schools receive less funding per student than state schools.

    Either way, you make some interesting points.

    My children attend/ed a private school. My wife works in a state school – say no more. We were state school kids but from a different era. Our experiences with state schools made our choice easy but no less scary financially.

    I would work until I drop to help my future grand kids go to a private Christian school.

    What some in the media forget is that to send our kids to this school, we are expected to be practicing Christians. We have to sign a statement of agreement to uphold the ethos of the school. We even have to have a letter from our Pastor stating that we attend church (that needs tightening up – I think it should be confirmed annually). Therefore, if staff can’t uphold the ethos, they can’t or shouldn’t be there. Forget homosexuals for a moment. If a staff member was living in a defacto relationship or committing adultery, they would be asked to leave. No one goes around spying but these things do end up getting out.

    The moral there is probably, don’t go spruiking your lifestyle to the children if it doesn’t line up with Biblical teaching. On the flip side, what sort of moral dilemma are you in to have to uphold certain principles that you don’t live by yourself?

    As to homosexual students. There have been a couple at the school. They weren’t ‘out’ but they were easily distinguished. They were not asked to leave. They were loved and encouraged by the staff, not to continue in that choice but to grow through the teen years and to become an adult. Certainly a better treatment than Christian kids may get in the state system.

    Things will probably get worse for faith based schools ( apart from ALP members sending their kids to them). Again, in the media we only see schools like Kings and Nudgee etc, the top tier ones and then the envy box is ticked. Many private schools would be comparable to state schools in facilities. I don’t pay for marble floors and oak panelling. I pay for the upholding of our values and a safe environment with high standards of behaviour and academic achievement. Funnily, high standards of behaviour seem to assist in high academic achievement. If the teachers aren’t breaking up fights in the classrooms, they have more time to teach.

    Apologies for the long rant. I hope the paragraphing works when I post.

  19. BoyfromTottenham

    manalive, I’m not sure that Phelps is practicing ‘scientific medicine’ as we know it. She is heavily into ‘alternative medicine’, and ‘integrative medicine’ (i.e. a mix of scientific and non-scientific stuff), so your assumption about her being ‘an utmost empiricist, someone who would assess matters on evidence’ is probably a bit off the mark (to put it mildly). I refer to Tim Minchin’s hilarious poem ‘Storm’ for an example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HhGuXCuDb1U

  20. duncanm

    I like to think a better analogy for renewables is water.

    Rain is cheap / free; Renewables are drinking water without storage (rivers, tanks or dams).

  21. Rafe Champion

    Nice point. Count the cost of distribution with new stuff and upgrading the old to handle intermitent and fluctuating input.

  22. Pyrmonter

    Here’s the conundrum:

    People want electricity when they want it and not when the sun shines and the wind blows.

    Actually, we don’t know that. We know there’s political pressure for it, but it’s quite possible there are uses of electricity that could use intermittent supply if it were appropriately priced. Why run things like heat pumps and desalination plants when energy is expensive? Why not ride the market, and buy cheap?

    Well, the answer in an immediate sense is that our regulatory structure requires ‘on call’ electricity. Obviously Pyrmonter wants that when he wants to boil the kettle, but do all users need it? It’s time to allow the development of a market – that is, to do that old price-discovery process many of us learnt about when first reading some of the Austrians.

  23. Pyrmonter:

    Why run things like heat pumps and desalination plants when energy is expensive? Why not ride the market, and buy cheap?

    You mean like off peak power?

  24. RobK

    Pyr,
    It’s time to allow the development of a market – that is, to do that old price-discovery process many of us learnt about when first reading some of the Austrians.

    The system does exactly that. The price of wholesale electricity varies depending on supply and demand. In the old baseload model, off -peak was available on a regular diurnal basis. Many functions can be shifted, as you say, such as pumping to stored product. This provided a market to “baseload”, such that the minimum demand for the NEM sits around 18GW in the early hours of the morning. This system was predictable on a variety of time scales, week-in, week-out. The problem with RE is that it randomly varies supply, often on a minute by minute basis, but on all other time scales too, out to annually. You cant predict accurately the supply but the RET rewards this by transfering a cost to coal at about twice coal’s cost of production. Still, every other consumer and supplier has to jump to REs opportunistic, random whims. Self suppliers, such as domestic PV and solar heating are fair enough (unsubsidized) but to pay a feed-in tarriff (especially one that is greater than the wholesale price) is really quite rediculous and unfair use of tax money. These inequities have driven the renewables mindset.

  25. manalive

    @ BoyfromTottenham.
    That figures, a practitioner in one pseudoscience fully accepting another pseudoscience thereby validating the empirically-based Blair’s Law: “the ongoing process by which the world’s multiple idiocies are becoming one giant, useless force”.

  26. Pyrmonter

    @ WinstonSmith

    Essentially, though what I had in mind was some sort of real-time co-ordination; off-peak power (does it still exist?) reflected assumptions about demand, not uncertainty in supply. But the way markets work is to co-ordinate both arms of Marshall’s scissors. Here we have an instance of a government and producer designed ‘market’ that makes that difficult

  27. Pyrmonter

    @ RobK

    Just because one technology ‘worked well’ with relatively predictability isn’t a good argument against another: railways worked well, to well-known timetables, but were, to borrow a modern phrase, ‘disrupted’ by the introduction of the motor car, with its choice of start and end time. That did for most of the passenger railways, but didn’t stop transportation. The same might be the case with renewables. The issue about subsidies and feed-in tariffs is a different question altogether.

  28. RobK

    Pyr,
    There are larger, commercial consumers that monitor wholesale price to adjust their demand on a 5 minutes block basis now. The radical price fluctuations makes life difficult for them. I agree that there should be unfettered competition and there are ways to do that better than what we have. It shouldn’t value dispatchable and non-dispatchable the same (or as it is now, non-dispatchable is cross subsidised). Without subsidies only the edges of the grid, and beyond, would presently entertain RE. The subsidies are expensive in their own right, but more importantly they demolish the ability of the dispatchable generators to perform efficiently.
    Your transport analogy should be turned around. Road transport is dispatchable and therefore of more value than intermittent rail.

  29. Colonel Crispin Berka, King's Fusiliers Corps.

    The cattery were saying the other day how memes are the best thing since sliced bread because the left don’t know how “to meme”. I don’t know if an entirely new meme is needed just for incidents like education sector rights, but this Sparticism sounds like a good match for the old Philosoraptor meme template.

    https://i.imgur.com/brbfjf6.png

    A totally new meme would have to be a character instantly recognisable as being denied rights that are granted to others. Maybe something from a recent Hollywood movie or a popular cartoon.

  30. bollux

    Whilst we keep having aboriginal computer labs, we’ll keep having aboriginals instead of Australians. You know the answer you teaser, it’s only about the money. Welcome back. I will never call you a dope again, maybe.

  31. Pyrmonter

    @ RobK

    Clearly ‘dispatchable’ electricity is a different product to ‘at the whim of the weather’; but that’s not the same as saying the there is _no_ market for ‘whimsical’ energy. It’s quite easy to imagine there could be an extensive market for it; but we don’t allow the search to be undertaken for it.

    I take your point about comparison between rail and motors; the analogy could however be extended back further: rail displaced cycling, walking and (to some extent) horse draught, all of which were ‘dispatch able’; the cost of them however was higher in terms of time, convenience and running cost than rail.

  32. Sebastian

    The economics of coal is now so bad that Feds now want to underwrite new coal generation deals.

    Plus, they also want the power to force the divestment of utility assets if they deem it necessary.

    My gawd – the Libs are turning into commies – they need to be cleaned out !!

  33. wal1957

    Clearly ‘dispatchable’ electricity is a different product to ‘at the whim of the weather’; but that’s not the same as saying the there is _no_ market for ‘whimsical’ energy

    If there is a market for it, (doubtful), then the whimsical energy providers can find and promote it themselves.
    Use their own bloody money!

  34. RobK

    Pyr,
    I think we are on the same page. There are applications for wind and solar (and other exotic energy forms). Ive been working with them for four decades. They are niché applications at this stage. A lot of progress has been made and no doubt a lot will follow. However, to force onto the grid, technology that is not ready for prime time, is an expensive mistake. The market will identify a good idea.

  35. RobK:

    The market will identify a good idea.

    The market will identify a profitable idea. That’s why the CO2 Certificates have utterly stuffed the electrical stability of the Australian Power market.

  36. Leo G

    Why … is it ok to ban non-indigenous students from an indigenous (students’) computer room, especially when such computer room is a tax payer subsidised facility?

    Even government educational institutions which inculcate Marxism have property rights, and should be free to control lawful use of their property. As lawful, I include constitutional requirements. Any restriction or discrimination must apply uniformly in every state (s117).

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