Guest post: Cardimona – Wind energy’s Achilles Heel

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.

This entry was posted in Global warming and climate change policy, Guest Post. Bookmark the permalink.

78 Responses to Guest post: Cardimona – Wind energy’s Achilles Heel

  1. mizaris

    Happy to write, copy/paste, etc.

  2. mizaris

    Forgot – I’m in WA.

  3. Sirocco

    Happy to be a soldier in this campaign.

  4. custard

    Count me in Cardimona. I’m happy to follow the script/cut/paste etc

    Hi Mizaris, hope you are well.

  5. Genghis

    Hi,
    Have you seen the current output >5%!!!!!
    Bloody hell the whole thing is stupid.

  6. mizaris

    Custard, very well and warm as toast up north. Cheers to you.

  7. Red belly

    I am available to help if I can. I live in a small country town in SA

  8. Old School Conservative

    A great idea, similar to the “digital warriors” clip I watched today.
    I’m in.

  9. Also happy to help….we will have time in Victoria!!

  10. Hodor

    Yeah, let me know what you need
    H

  11. Ben

    I’m in and interested to see any effects.

    My cynical side says that politicians already know the problem but they don’t care, because they think the votes are to be found by supporting renewables.

  12. DraculaGC

    Include me in. Happy to join the fight.

  13. Eyrie

    I’m in. Unfortunately Groom has a fat, useless, utterly lazy prick as our rep.

  14. Dave

    Happy to help. I’m on the Sunshine Coast.

  15. Wallace

    I’m in too, boots and all, but it won’t work Rafe, you can’t defeat them with logic, they don’t know what that is. Maybe meet them on their own terms, Facebook, Twitter, a dedicated web site that lampoons all their utterances, etc. make then feel like idiots.
    Pollies are useless, they will only toe the party line, no matter what platitudes they feed you.

  16. mundi

    This won’t work because the purpose of the climate change is the money and the power and the programs, and most of all the religion.

    Everyone involved in the electricity industry knows that you cannot power the country with wind and solar. Every single one.

    But by attempting to do it – thats where you get money thrown at you.

  17. Cardimona

    Thank you to those conscripted volunteer Cats who have stepped forward so far.
    You all know all this stuff, but there really isn’t any guarantee that individual politicians do.
    Many of the staffers probably won’t be as well-informed as Cats, either.

    The strategy of individual constituents writing to their local member is meant to place the issue directly into the workspace of his or her office.
    They’ll know that concerns about the renewables choke point are out there in their very own electorates.
    And that some were concerned enough to write with questions.
    That should put it on their radar, even if not as a major threat to their jobs at this point in time.

  18. MatrixTransform

    count me in.

    … will check the throw-away email account for further instructions.

  19. Bushkid

    Count me in. I’m in Flynn, CQ federally.

    We need to be doing this at a state and local government level too.
    State governments are the ones not approving new HELE coal-fire generation, and state and local governments are also part of the problem in allowing and fostering wind and solar “farms”.

  20. Hew

    I’ll give it a go, to write, copy/paste, etc.

  21. thwleftfootkick

    Last few weeks I have been up and down the road into SA and NSW and QLD also, for for miles and miles every where, and today of all day up the Hume highway, no wind at all, was wondering now all those wind turbines have been faring?

  22. Tom

    Wind energy’s Achilles Heel

    A 19th century solution to 21st century energy needs is the stupidest non-solution that could only have been thought of by lefties — the dumbest people ever born, who actually chose ignorance over the wisdom of markets.

  23. mick muller

    Yeah, I reckon I could cobble together the odd missive to pollies. The problem, as always, is being polite to the bastards.
    Mick

  24. Big_Nambas

    More than happy to write/copy paste and email or phone politicians. It’s a fight we can not afford to lose.
    I am in Perth.

  25. John A of WA

    I’m in WA so we have a different set of circumstances but still bare cost increases due to the RE religion. I’d be happy to write/coy/paste to targeted Member’s to form a co-ordinated frontal assault.

  26. Happy to help – what do you need, exactly ???
    A Mechanical Engineer, with years of weather watching for yacht racing, I can even (almost) read an MSLP weather map

  27. Sorry, should have said I am in Dural, NSW 2158

  28. Rafe Champion

    Thanks Cats, please indicate the electorate, member, party and where he/she stands on energy issues if you know, that will help to get straight to the right kind of letter with minimum delay. Start with your Federal member and if you find the business congenial we can move on to the State member. One thing at a time:)

  29. Eyrie

    I’m a former BoM meteorologist.

  30. Eyrie

    Electorate groom. John McVeigh, Liberal. Doesn’t seem to have a clue judging by responses so far to my missives on this issue.

  31. moin

    I have been doing this for years as Rafe knows . Josh is my member whom I know kissy kiss in the old days also know his PAs Colyn and Maria and the wall is impenetrable . EG sent a flyer with the cover of Der Spiegal on it which described the collapse of renewables and broken down wind turbines with questions
    Like Germany has spent trillions onRE how much will it cost to reach their level. ? even handed it to Josh .
    sent on Michael ‘s Moore ‘s documentary asking where was he wrong. and Shellenbergers letter also.
    So happy to continue .
    In the meantime as I live in retirement apartments we are locked down again from tomorrow for 6 weeks AlreadyI am hearing people talk depression Talk and are they ANGRY? So I am about to direct some of that anger into doing something Re Dictator Dan who has set up everything so as not to let any damage happen to him and all he does is deflect any questions No one can get to him Any Ideas ?

  32. Ladyredneck

    Reporting for duty, Suh! Mallee, Anne Webster, National, Dr’s wife

  33. Vagabond

    I’m happy to participate. I have a degree in electrical engineering and my local member is a liberal of the wet persuasion.

  34. Bar Beach Swimmer

    Cardi & Rafe,
    please add me in.
    Federal: Newcastle, Sharon Claydon (Labor)

  35. Charles Rasp

    Curtin, Western Australia COVID Oasis (WACO, pronounced whacko, obviously), Celia Hammond is the member after Julie Bigjobs abandoned ship. CH’s position on energy (or any other) issues unknown.
    Been considering how to shake the tree but very, very busy working in retirement so I can pay the electricity and gas bills ….
    Agree with Wally, these days the battle is won/ lost in the social media sewer, although I think local papers are actually still quite influential if used strategically. I’m happy to badger dear Celia with logic or emotion. Wind me up.
    PS Aren’t windmills racist, since they were invented by the Dutch, who are white, and were colonialists and surely at least one of them traded slaves at some time or another?

  36. Happy to help. Am in Fadden( Stuart Roberts) electorate.

  37. Michael Kottek

    I’m in for Corangamite.

  38. Helen

    NT Lingiari, Labor, Warren Snowdon.

  39. Megan

    I’ll sign up from the YarraGrad leper colony.

    JagaJaga, Kate Thwaites, Labor hack and toes the party line on Ruinables as far as I can tell.

  40. Wyndham Dix

    Happy to help.
    .
    Boothby SA, Nicolle Flint, Liberal. Wedded (welded?) to the Paris Agreement. Seemingly impassable gatekeepers in her electoral office.

  41. mizaris

    Patrick Gorman, alp, Perth. Unfortunately.

  42. Paul Callander

    Happy to be involved.
    Wannon electorate, Local member Dan Tehan Liberal
    Minister of Education.
    On past experience don’t know that it will do much good with Dan as all I get back from him is boiler plate platitudes or else get passed on to the environment minister for the same platitudes.
    However, if enough are involved it might make the pollies pause before continuing to act like lemmings.

  43. gowest

    Glad to help – live in WA labor heartland. Has everyone watched the Michael Shellenberger interview in Heartlands Podcast 250 ???
    Energy density – energy density – any 8 yo can use google maps to work out the power station area and divide into the power output – from there the calculation to work out how much land is needed to provide our needs with RE is easy to teach.
    Second – every bit of RE needs 100% BACKUP.
    Wind farms are effected by insect build up on their blades – up to 50%
    Has anyone asked how they got away with building wind farms on the endangered Carnaby feeding range at Cataby

  44. GD

    Happy to help. I’m in Geelong. Federal Member Richard Marles (Labor), state member Christine Couzens (Labor).

  45. Kevan Daly

    I’d like to give you a hand. I’m in the electorate of Kingsford Smith and my local member is Matt Thistlethwaite, ALP, probably from a “right” faction as he’s still willing to appear on SkyNews from time-to-time.

  46. custard

    Cowan, Anne Aly moozlie and clueless
    My email is already on the public record [email protected]

  47. Rafe Champion

    Thanks everyone, this is heartwarming, we are on the move! We can call ourselves the Windwatchers Anonymous and encourage everyone to simply click on the Aneroid link to see what the wind is delivering at the moment and https://anero.id/energy/wind-energy/2020/june to see how often the wind was off duty last month. I will ask my son to set up a Facebook page for Windwatchers Anonymous Worldwide to attract people who do FB, I know many people give it a miss but it works for a lot of others.

    Cardimona (letter writer extraordinaire) will help to draft a simple missive, give out some information, ask a question, look at the reply and ask the next question plus a bit more information. The idea is to be polite, informative and persuasive!

    I have mixed feelings about standard letters, looking like a robot campaign and I thought about four types based on two dichotomies – Coalition/others and “know nothing”/some relevant knowledge and expertise.

    But to keep it simple, like While many people are pleased that Australia is leading the world in the rate of growing assets for renewable energy I have been looking at the daily and hourly supply of power from the wind by clicking on https://anero.id/energy/wind-energy. Some of the time it is next to nothing as you can see from the record for last month https://anero.id/energy/wind-energy/2020/june

    At present we have a safety net of power from coal, gas and hydro but the gaps in the wind supply will become critical when we lose more coal-fired capacity. I would like to ask whether you are aware of this situation, and what is being considered in the Party room to keep the lights on after more coal-fired power stations are retired?

    We had better get clear about the situation in WA, we might have remind the pollies in WA that this is a national issue even it it mostly concerns the Eastern states. Anyway that is something for Cardimona to contemplate with his muesli and goats milk cheese.

  48. JohnW

    Happy to cut and paste.

    McEwan in Victoria. Rob Mitchell – Labor empty vessel. Has voted strongly for increased spending on renewables and wants a fast transition from fossil fuels. Never goes against the party.

  49. Terence Edward Brennan

    Count me in. Calare NSW

  50. Michael Bowden

    I have been writing to my state and federal members on the subject of renewable energy for years and have received dozens of non-answers. I am currently battling the CSIRO over its ‘GenCost’ publication which is deeply flawed. Count me in on your campaign.

  51. Deryl McConaghy

    I am willing and able to assist with this type of campaign.

  52. Rafe Champion

    Michael, and others with similar experiences, I expect that it will be harder for them to ignore the facts of the matter when more of their colleagues are better informed and there is more party room discussion when energy gets back to the top of the agenda.
    There are many deeply flawed cost estimates around, I think the CSIRO publication is the one that Zali Steggall’s office referred to me in response to my submission some time ago.
    One of the briefing notes on my list is the matter of cost, it is hard to penetrate the fog of misinformation and if you can help with my briefing note I will be very pleased. I will be in touch!

  53. Tony from Rockhampton

    I’ll be in it. Send details as and when. Mind you, I’m in Queensland.

  54. old bloke

    Canning, W.A., local member Andrew Hastie (Liberal). I think that he’s aware of the RE problems, Jo Nova said that he’s “one of the good guys” so probably not needing a letter?

    I write to him from time to time complaining about the SFL party, he always replies asking for donations.

  55. Stan

    Count me in. Happy to email that idiot John Alexander in Bennelong.

  56. Old School Conservative

    My electorate details – Mackellar NSW, Member:Jason FALINSKI.
    (Oh the local confusion when Michael Mackellar was the member for Warringah.)

  57. Young Freddy

    Count me in.

    I’m in O’Connor and my local member spends most of his time trampling around on Local Government turf, dishing out pissant quantities of $ to community groups, and has never, to my knowledge, opined on a matter of national import, but I’ll do my best to make him a better MP.

  58. jupes

    I’m in the Perth electorate. Patrick Gorman (Labor) is my local member. John Carey (Labor) is my state member.

  59. itsstevies

    Rafe.. Sign me up. Barnaby-NewEngland / Kevin Anderson(Nat)-Tamworth

  60. Cardimona

    Cardimona (letter writer extraordinaire) will help to draft a simple missive,

    Indeed, Rafe, and the KISS principle applies in spades because of our intended recipients’ very short attention spans.

    Three short paras or four or five well-spaced sentences, with lots of white-space, seem to get the best result.

    While many people are pleased that Australia is leading the world in the rate of growing assets for renewable energy I have been looking at the daily and hourly supply of power from the wind by clicking on https://anero.id/energy/wind-energy. Some of the time it is next to nothing as you can see from the record for last month https://anero.id/energy/wind-energy/2020/june

    At present we have a safety net of power from coal, gas and hydro but the gaps in the wind supply will become critical when we lose more coal-fired capacity. I would like to ask whether you are aware of this situation, and what is being considered in the Party room to keep the lights on after more coal-fired power stations are retired?

    OK, let’s see:
    – Three paras or fewer? Check.
    – Four or five well-spaced sentences? Sorta.
    – KISS-compliant? Hmmm.
    Let me have a crack at it…

    While some Aussies are pleased we’ve got lots of renewables, I’ve noticed that sometimes there’s no wind for hours.

    This website shows wind farm output – https://anero.id/energy/wind-energy
    Sometimes it’s almost nothing – https://anero.id/energy/wind-energy/2020/june

    Right now we’ve got coal, gas and some hydro to take over when the wind drops, but what happens when more coal gets shut down?

    Are you fellas onto this? What’s the Party room’s plan to keep the lights on during wind droughts when all coal is closed?

    This re-write is only 81 words and ditches the paragraphs for the well-spaced sentences and white-space.
    Remember, we really want to sink a simple message into the subconscious of the reader, whether they be an electoral office functionary, a chief of staff, or a politician.
    Cognitive dissonance; it’s a form of mental anguish and the subconscious mind will seek to resolve it.

    My famous daughter has read this post and reckons it’s a good idea, noting that most of these letters will end up on a Minister’s adviser’s desk.

    My mate who works as CoS for a Senator has also read the thread and agrees, noting that identical letters will be identified as an organised campaign – and that that’s not necessarily a bad thing given it would be one of the very few not from the left and therefore more noteworthy.

    Anyway that is something for Cardimona to contemplate with his muesli and goats milk cheese.

    Muesli and goats milk cheese?
    That’s not food – it’s what food eats.
    Steak, bacon and sausages for breakfast around here, mate!

  61. John A

    Yep, I’m in.

    Electorate of Holt, Victoria, south-east suburbs based on LGA of Casey; member is Anthony Byrne, seems to be reasonable ie. not of the Left but no doubt due to party discipline will be voting the Party Line.

  62. Cardimona

    Aargh, moderation; let’s have another go….

    Cardimona (letter writer extraordinaire) will help to draft a simple missive,

    Indeed, Rafe, and the KISS principle applies in bucket-loads because of our intended recipients’ very short attention spans.

    Three short paras or four or five well-spaced sentences, with lots of white-space, seem to get the best result.

    While many people are pleased that Australia is leading the world in the rate of growing assets for renewable energy I have been looking at the daily and hourly supply of power from the wind by clicking on https://anero.id/energy/wind-energy. Some of the time it is next to nothing as you can see from the record for last month https://anero.id/energy/wind-energy/2020/june

    At present we have a safety net of power from coal, gas and hydro but the gaps in the wind supply will become critical when we lose more coal-fired capacity. I would like to ask whether you are aware of this situation, and what is being considered in the Party room to keep the lights on after more coal-fired power stations are retired?

    127 words – OK, let’s see:
    – Three paras or fewer? Check.
    – Four or five well-spaced sentences? Sorta.
    – KISS-compliant? Hmmm.
    Let me have a go at it…

    While some Aussies are pleased we’ve got lots of renewables, I’ve noticed that sometimes there’s no wind for hours.

    This website shows wind farm output – https://anero.id/energy/wind-energy
    Sometimes it’s almost nothing – https://anero.id/energy/wind-energy/2020/june

    Right now we’ve got coal, gas and some hydro to take over when the wind drops, but what happens when more coal gets shut down?

    Are you fellas onto this? What’s the Party room’s plan to keep the lights on during wind droughts when all coal is closed?

    This re-write is only 81 words and ditches the paragraphs for the well-spaced sentences and white-space.
    Remember, we really want to sink a simple message into the subconscious of the reader, whether they be an electoral office functionary, a chief of staff, or a politician.
    Cognitive dissonance; it’s a form of mental anguish and the subconscious mind will seek to resolve it, which can change a person’s point of view.

    My famous daughter has read this post and reckons it’s a good idea, noting that most of these letters will end up on a Minister’s adviser’s desk.

    My mate who works as CoS for a Senator has also read the thread and agrees, noting that identical letters will be identified as an organised campaign – and that that’s not necessarily a bad thing given it would be one of the very few not from the left and therefore more noteworthy.

    Anyway that is something for Cardimona to contemplate with his muesli and goats milk cheese.

    Muesli and goats milk cheese?
    That’s not food – it’s what food eats.
    Steak, bacon and sausages for breakfast around here, mate!

  63. OB1

    Count me in.
    Steve Irons federal member for Swan. WA.

  64. davefromweewaa

    Cardi and others,
    The Land newspaper has featured opinions on the Nats to mark their centenary. Inspired by you I’ve sent a letter.

    Plenty of interesting perspectives on the Nationals in The Land these last two weeks and with the Herculean task of righting the economy ahead, there’s never been a better time to reflect on policy. The prospect of a budget surplus has been shot up like Bonny and Clyde’s car. Now is the time for the Nats to resume fighting for us, because they have dropped off the pace in several key areas.

    Production, productivity and producers should be the focus for governments seeking to bring prosperity back after the hugely expensive pandemic response. Even socialists should know that you can’t redistribute what hasn’t been produced. In past times these were Nationals strong suits. However when we see productive grazing leases turned into national parks and unproductive renewable projects lauded by National ministers, we know something’s wrong. If we wanted such destructive policies we’d vote Green!

    So too with water in the Murray Darling. Our forefathers had the wisdom to harness this renewable resource in the service of humanity so why is it being squandered? Surely producing what we eat, drink and wear has greater moral virtue than keeping the lower lakes artificially fresh and sending fresh water to the sea.

    Then there is the renewable energy scam. The only difference between Labor and the Photios faction controlling the Libs is who gets the money looted from consumers and taxpayers. It makes zero difference to the climate but is impoverishing and enslaving the many to benefit the few!

    Nationals of old would not have stood for such nonsense. Get out of the Paris agreement, scrap the MD plan and for Gawd’s sake fight for us!
    Dave Shorter

  65. Cardimona

    davefromweewaa

    Bravo!
    Outbloodystanding!
    Therapeutic, too.

  66. Struth

    That Barillaro chap calls the nationals and himself agrarian socialists.

  67. davefromweewaa

    Thanks Cardi.
    Last letter I sent was edited rather savagely. Should find out tomorrow how this one fared.

  68. custard

    Cardimona

    Please flick me an email. Address above

  69. Pick me! Pick me!
    QLD BARCALDINE 4725 Maranoa Littleproud Lib/Nat

Comments are closed.