In the grey, pre-dawn darkness the cold kiss of winter prickles the skin and the silent leaves hang motionless on the trees. A high pressure system has stalled over south-eastern Australia and renewable energy generators have choked.
Without sun and wind the green-energy dream has no fuel supply. The millions of households switching on kettles and toasters are totally reliant on coal, gas, and a bit of hydro.
You know all this, you don’t need me to tell you, however the decisions being taken by our representatives in our parliaments indicate they don’t know it. The question is, as ever, what to do about it?
The answer may be in the questions.
Let me explain. Rafe and I have been conspiring to conscript [his word not mine. RC] some Cats and lurkers. Relax, we’re not sending people into a shooting war. No, it’s a war of words – or more correctly, a war of questions.
We want to Cats in every state and federal electorate to write to their local members and ask some simple questions. It’s private, so there’s no social media backlash. No special technical knowledge is required because you’re only asking straightforward, reasonable questions.
The elephant in the renewables’ room is the wind drought, especially at night when there’s no solar generation. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. So, by many people taking a bite and asking questions we hope to raise awareness of that elephant until it must be acknowledged to exist.
Remember, questions on a matter within a Ministerial portfolio will be forwarded to that Minister. Advisers in both offices will have their awareness raised in that process.
“Why?”, you ask, “All I’ll get back for my trouble is a boilerplate response about storage.” And that’s fine, because it leads into the next question. “What storage? How many batteries? What cost per MWh?” And so on.
The intention is to focus solely on the Achilles Heel of renewables, the choke point, in an attempt to head off the destruction of any more reliable generators.
We don’t want to debate atmospheric physics or the carbon cycle or solar conditions or any aspect of the climate systems. By focussing solely on renewables’ weakness we’re attempting to avoid the emotional dogma of the “save the planet” religion.
This letter campaign is planned to proceed in parallel with series of briefing notes that Rafe will send to all Federal politicians and others as soon as his helper gets the email list together. The first went out to Coalition reps Federal and NSW in March describing the “choke point problem” when the wind dies. As expected there were only two replies apart from auto-responses. Actually only one reply was expected, from Zali Steggall who is Rafe’s local MP. The other is a Queensland Senator on the backbench who signed up to support our concerns.
A series of briefing notes will go out, each explaining one more aspect of the futility of RE and the idea is to have local letter writers pursuing each of these points in turn after they land in the Ministerial offices.
The structure of this army of correspondents will be flat: Rafe will look after the central office to send out the briefing notes and there will be one or more people in each state to recruit and support the Cat-faced pony-soldier/s in the field, serving as many electorates as we can reach.
There are some flags in the map already: Wentworth, North Sydney, Warringah, Banks, Grayndler, Sydney, Braddon, and some senators in SA and Queensland have designated staffers to read Rafe’s communications. Our contacts in the party have promised more help from staffers to find letter-writers among party workers.
We all know Cats can write. Plenty of lurkers can, too. Or else just copy/paste the material supplied. We know many Cats and lurkers have the time. Could it work? Alinsky would believe so. Are we dreamin’? Maybe, but aren’t we better to try and fail than to not try at all?
In my own case I have been explaining renewables’ weaknesses in detail, in person, to my local reps (both proud Katter men) for years. Heck, I’ve even explained ethanol and hydrogen to Bob – no easy task, I assure you. I’ve volunteered (been conscripted!) to be the Queensland coordinator, but we need to fill the other state positions.
We need you! Fight for your country! Fight for cheap, reliable power and the prosperity that goes with it from the comfort of your home office in your uniform pyjamas. Signal your enthusiasm in a comment, that will enable Rafe to be in touch by email and then we can get it on.