Green policies, & RE saves the world or maybe nuclear power

Review of Green policies. With the Greens in the news it is timely to have a look at the full suite of their policies. This is a chapter by chapter review of a The Greens: Policies, Reality and Consequences published a few years ago. The Doomlord wrote the chapter on Green economic policy.

From the chapter on Forests.

Consistent with the fashion of the times, there is an unprecedented surge in regulation in the forests [see the same in the fisheries in the next chapter]. He refers to Acts, codes and guidelines referring to vegetation and fauna, surface water, slopes, soils, rock outcrops, indigenous and heritage sites, fuel reduction, firefighting,  feed and nesting trees, tracks and roads, health and safety, use of equipment and much else. “Greens’ policy is now passionately addresed to a non-problem – unsupervised access of the timber industry in Australian native forests”.
 
The result of locking away forests which used to be productively used does not actually enhance their quality because that depends on good management. Without management exotic plants move in, like lantana and bitou bush, likewise feral animals. And the fires that consume the fuel that accumulates in the absence of controlled burning.  Hoggett describes this as the elephent in the room, unmentinable in Green policy. The result is entirely predictable, like the mega fires of 2002-3.  You could probably add the Victorian fires of recent memory, where Green councils refused to allow residents to take precautions.
 
The mega fires introduce an element of destruction of soil, wildlife and trees that far exceeds the  impact of fires that burned in the past under the management practices that keep the level of fuel in check. They are a major unintended consequence of Green non-management.
 
Thanks to the stranglehold on forest production we starve in the midst of plenty. Domestic wood production peaked in 2000. “We export wood products worth $2.3B and we import $4.5B with the gap widening. We tap the forest resources of areas of the world that have a far greater need for conservation than we do”.

 

Light relief, the suggestion that cheap RE will save the world from total disaster but we will still get 2C hotter and that will be catastrophic.

On the future of RE in North America:

The limiting factor of renewable energy is not just the cost of solar and wind installations, its the cost of making renewable energy dispatchable. Most winters in the Northern Hemisphere there are at least a few periods of bitterly cold winter high pressure weather systems, with very little wind over a vast area, and only a few short hours of sunlight to charge the frost covered solar cells.

A “few gas plants” won’t suffice as backup in such conditions, you need backup capacity which can supply 100% of winter peak demand, for at least a few weeks.

And on the disaster of a bit more  heat.

As for two degrees making heatwaves unsurvivable, Noah has no idea what he is talking about. One of my first jobs was operating a heavy, hot plate hydraulic press inside a poorly ventilated chemical factory in Australia whose humid, fume filled interior routinely reached 130F / 55C during Summer, for most of the work day. The only thing you needed to do to “survive” this human induced heatwave was to dress lightly and drink rehydration fluid every 5 minutes.

Plenty of people right now, such as bakers, factory workers, miners, laundry workers, machine operators and many others, routinely work in such conditions.

Lets go  nuclear to save the world. 

From Lutz in previous comments, the number of nuclear power stations required for the world to  go carbon neutral  by 2050.

So the math here is simple: to achieve net-zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2050, the world would need to deploy 3 Turkey Point nuclear plants worth of carbon-free energy every two days, starting tomorrow and continuing to 2050. At the same time, a Turkey Point nuclear plant worth of fossil fuels would need to be decommissioned every day, starting tomorrow and continuing to 2050.

I’ve found that some people don’t like the use of a nuclear power plant as a measuring stick. So we can substitute wind energy as a measuring stick. Net-zero carbon dioxide by 2050 would require the deployment of ~1500 wind turbines (2.5 MW) over ~300 square miles, every day starting tomorrow and continuing to 2050. 

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27 Responses to Green policies, & RE saves the world or maybe nuclear power

  1. stackja

    Greens don’t worry about reality.
    Greens like dreams.
    Greens dream of lots and lots of OPM.

  2. Entropy

    We tap the forest resources of areas of the world that have a far greater need for conservation than we do”.

    The richer you are the more you can worry about the environment. The greens though, are watermelons, and it is more about the piquant thrill of regulating others than environmental outcomes.

  3. Mark M

    and then there’s this …

    How does the Australian landscape recover after a bushfire?

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-12-06/fire-rejuvenation-for-queensland-bushland-after-bushfire/10584714

    “More than 52,000 hectares of bushland was burnt across central Queensland and many residents only returned to their homes in recent days.

    But the future for native trees in the area could be brighter than we think thanks to widespread rain, cooler conditions and fresh ash beds setting the vegetation up for a stable recovery.”

    Wait. What?

    CO2 induced cooler conditions?

  4. yarpos

    Starve in the midst of plenty.

    Seems to be normal business in Australia, forestry, natural gas, uranium, coal. We like nothing better than shooting ourselves in the foot in terms of commodities. Adding value? nah , just a quarry for the world at our own expense.

  5. mareeS

    Leave us alone, please. We couldn’t give a flying.

  6. Rob MW

    Ending preferential voting to stop the libs and Labor, or anybody else, from doing deals with these green grubs would be a start.
    1. return freehold land tenure system to the state and unity prior to the introduction of the States native veg laws and PRIOR to the introduction of the EPBC Act (C’wth).
    2. completely stop the vegetation restrictions placed upon routine agriculture practices including getting rid of the permit system restricting agriculture production and private land management.
    3. Mandate active land management on all Crown Land as in force prior to the 1970’s.
    4. acknowledge, in law, that all vegetation including native vegetation is a renewable resource.
    5. acknowledge, in policy, the criminally enforced protection of native vegetation is inconsistent with criminally enforcing the protection of declared native fauna.
    6. acknowledge, in property law, that the protection of life and property, both real and personal, is an inalienable function of all governments and subject to ALL the rights found in Common Law including torts.

  7. RobK

    He refers to Acts, codes and guidelines referring to vegetation and fauna, surface water, slopes, soils, rock outcrops, indigenous and heritage sites, fuel reduction, firefighting, feed and nesting trees, tracks and roads, health and safety, use of equipment and much else.
    ….including unique assemblages of flora and fauna matrices and bird flight paths.

  8. RobK

    Rob MW,
    Good summary. Well done.

  9. I ask again, show me one Greens policy/initiative for the betterment of anything that has worked.

  10. Herodotus

    Forest management! It’s like blog management should be.

  11. I have to love the excuses being made by and on behalf of Andrews:

    Victorian fire chief says calls for more fuel reduction burns are an ’emotional load of rubbish

    “I think there’s some good examples of where land that had been backburned quite hard — quite heavy fuel reduction burning only three or four years ago — burnt pretty hot last weekend.”

    He thinks? Three or four years ago, not five or six…? In one or two years an area subject to a bushfire can suddenly sprout enough undergrowth that in a following dry summer will burn quite ferociously.

    Since Andrews is so into Aboriginal culture etc, why not listen to those people and learn about controlling bushfires. Same goes for our armchair fire chief:

    https://youtu.be/RM72NtXxyLs

  12. Win

    Not content with burning people to death in catastrophic infernos the Greens are also causing the extinction of those plants that need fire to open their seed pods.

  13. RobK

    “I think there’s some good examples of where land that had been backburned quite hard — quite heavy fuel reduction burning only three or four years ago — burnt pretty hot last weekend.”
    It’s a major worry that a so called “fire chief “ doesn’t differentiate a “back burn “ from a “hazard reduction burn”. He is doing more to confuse people than to educate them. He could be considered part of the problem.
    For those not clear of the difference:
    A back burn is carried out as a means to control an active fire. It is a reaction under pressure.
    A hazard reduction burn is part of a considered, resourced, planned programme to manage vegetation to present the least potential for loss and disaster.
    The press has been conflating the two in ignorance. It is very deceptive and disappointing for a fire chief to do the same.

  14. It is very deceptive and disappointing for a fire chief to do the same.

    I suspect that this armchair fire chief doesn’t know the difference.

  15. Rafe Champion

    42 visits to the critical review of the Greens, keep coming folks, it is not going away and nor are the Greens any time soon.

  16. This is the kind of stuff fed to our kids :

    2. And what exactly is climate change?

    That’s a tricky one. Plenty of adults don’t understand a lot of the details about climate change. It’s a problem caused by “greenhouse gases.”A greenhouse is made of glass that traps the sun’s heat but doesn’t let it back out again, so that inside, it gets hotter. The same thing happens with the Earth’s atmosphere, which holds in the heat from the sun to keep us all nice and warm (out in space, we’d quickly freeze!).

    But gases that come from factories, power plants and cars and get into the atmosphere are making the planet too hot.

    Most of the energy we use to make things, keep the lights on and our homes warm, turn on the air-con and power transport, comes from burning fuels like oil, gas and coal. These are called fossil fuels and when they are burned, they release carbon. Once carbon gets into the atmosphere, it traps a lot of heat.

    Cutting down trees can also make the world hotter, because trees take carbon out of the atmosphere and store it safely away.</blockquote
    From “Five answers for kids concerned about climate change”

  17. stackja

    hz – DW story reminds of ‘Germany Calling’ and ‘Lord HH’.

  18. Stackja, never though of it like that, but yes.

  19. A greenhouse is made of glass that traps the sun’s heat but doesn’t let it back out again, so that inside, it gets hotter.

    WTF? Greenhouses are designed to regulate temperature and humidity depending on the type of plants being grown. Greenhouses are often infused with additional CO2 to promote plant growth and enable plant growth all year round.

  20. Boambee John

    ”A greenhouse is made of glass that traps the sun’s heat but doesn’t let it back out again, so that inside, it gets hotter.

    Sounds more like a glasshouse. Greenhouses might simply be covered in shadecloth, to keep plants cool?

  21. Aynsley Kellow

    The Five answers are misleading children. As I understand it, the issue is absorption and re-radiation of energy by carbon dioxide and other GHGs. A greenhouse works because the air is trapped and convection cannot transport the energy upwards. I think Richard Lindzen and others have been pointing this out for yonks – and pointing out that heated gases can move in the atmosphere. He even identifies an ‘iris’ that regulates warming.

  22. Michael Lewis

    Are we fighting fires the right way? Are we ember proofing houses? How do we allow for those houses and properties where no precations are taken? These are questions as well as that of the timely removal of tinder.
    Whenever I see on TV, a particular fire being fought (same goes for in California), I see a vast fire with at best, aerial bombing, which looks rather puny as to effect and on the ground, a relatively few firefighters, armed with hoses. I get the impression that fires burn out when there is nothing left to burn, when there is rain and in a few examples where fire breaks (and a change in wind), have turned the fire back on itself. The actual fire fighting seems largely ineffectual. Are the experts (e.g. Fire Commissioners) really experts? Is lateral thinking required? Should we just admit that we can not do much to put out a large bushfire? Should we accept this and then concentrate on removing targets – “fire proofing”, control of placement of dwellings, penalising those who refuse to insure – both by preventative action and policy payment? Many questions. Any suggestions?

  23. Anthony

    @Michael Lewis

    Whenever I see on TV, a particular fire being fought (same goes for in California), I see a vast fire with at best, aerial bombing, which looks rather puny as to effect and on the ground, a relatively few firefighters, armed with hoses.

    I have often thought the same thing. So, a few days ago asked this question of a former CFA volunteer and they were quite enthusiastic about the efficacy of aerial water bombing. I had a quick look at the literature via Google Scholar and I couldn’t see much of whether anyone had found fighting fires with aerial waterbombers was worthwhile. I came across this ABC article from late last year. The CSIRO guy they talk to basically says its hard to measure the effects of water bombing because its hard to scientifically measure the immediate impact whilst the fire is raging. However, they do make a common sense point, that an aircraft can fly in a straight line and dump lots of water/retardant on a newly started fire – that may be the best case scenario.

  24. I thought RE stood for Religious Education.

  25. Michael Lewis

    I just looked at the SMH commenters attacking Craig Kelly. If it wasn’t for this and a couple of other sites, it might make you suicidal after looking at that collection of extreme hate and extreme ignorance. It makes me wonder where this country can go with such a rabid population.

  26. Tim Neilson

    I just looked at the SMH commenters attacking Craig Kelly. If it wasn’t for this and a couple of other sites, it might make you suicidal after looking at that collection of extreme hate and extreme ignorance. It makes me wonder where this country can go with such a rabid population.

    ABC/Fairfax clientele aren’t a majority – and even a lot of them are actually not part of the commentariat.

    I wouldn’t despair – though we do need to fight back against the saboteurs.

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